Friday, January 31, 2014

News & Updates

It's been rather awhile, hasn't it? Sorry 'bout that! Lately I've been busy working on the second issue of MonstaLand. In the meantime I've added a couple of items in the "For Sale" column to the right; both are sketchbook minicomics I produced recently. Here's a peek!

SQUIGGLE CHICKEN


SQUIGGLE CHICKEN RAIDS AGAIN

Friday, May 24, 2013

Apeonauts


Another private commission! Mixed media, 9" x 12".

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Pen Guy

So tonight I (quite inadvertently, I promise!) stole a pen from one of my favorite bars. Hey, that'll happen! But that sort of thing happens a lot, which is where the Pen Guy stepped in. Back in the day, the Pen Guy was an East Village dive bar's best bet to stem the constant tide of pen depletion. An honest-to-god traveling salesman, this goggle-eyed, gnomish fellow would hoof it from bar to bar in the dark of night with one purpose: to sell pens. As often as not, he would be greeted with gratitude and money by a mixologist desperate for a handful of writing instruments. With the closing of that transaction, he would set his salesman's sights on those of us on the other side of the bar. He was not a verbose salesman; he simply opened his bulky plastic case of pens and let us gape at them. He knew his stock and the quality thereof intimately, and he let his inventory speak for itself. I only had one verbal interaction with the man: I took an interest in a newly-released Uniball, and he said: "Oh, that's a VERY good pen.". A few bucks changed hands, and I had that pen plus a couple of Sharpies as well (I think most of his sales were of Sharpies to drunks, actually). He's been long gone from the scene, but I can't help but wonder how the dive bars of the East Village can fend for themselves against pen thieves like myself. So Pen Guy, whether you be on this plane or the next, Salutations! I need a fresh Sharpie or two, and you are sorely missed.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Godzilla vs. Hedorah

11" x 14", pen & ink, markers.
This was commissioned by my good buddy and House of Twelve high priest Cheese Hasselberger as a Christmas gift for his Godzilla-obsessed brother. Hope you like it Ian!

Monday, September 17, 2012

SPX 2012: the pile

Just returned from the Small Press Expo this weekend in Bethesda, and a grand time was had as always. I sold, traded or gave away all but a handful of the new Monstaland mini, so thanks to everybody who showed an interest in it! Now that I'm going through the stack of books I brought back with me, I thought I'd share some brief thoughts. First up: Important Comics vol. 2, by Baltimore artist Dina Kelberman.
Her strip is published in the Baltimore City Paper, and I first encountered her work at the Asbury Park Comic Con and was immediately taken with it. The first volume is called Important Comics Are Bad and the back cover blurb is a letter from a City Paper reader pleading with them to cancel the strip, so that pretty much sets the tone right there.
Unlike said reader I am completely charmed by her fearlessly slapdash style and quirky musings so I was very happy to have the opportunity to get more of her stuff at SPX. Kudos to Atomic Books for supporting great local artists like Dina!
She, was kind enough to sign my copy, and even here her gift for spontaneous, gently self-deprecating humor shines through. Thanks Dina! You can see more of Important Comics at Dina's website.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

MonstaLand Zero!

I'll be debuting a new MonstaLand minicomic at the Small Press Expo this weekend! Here are the front and back covers.
You like? You want? Drop me a line at dmck (dot) ho12 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sam Berman's Dinosaur joke Book

The other night I was thumbing through an old favorite of mine, the Dinosaur Joke Book, so I decided to Google its author, Sam Berman. There's not really a whole lot out there about him--most prominently a Wikipedia article, and a splendid post on Drew Friedman's blog detailing Berman's career as a celebrity caricaturist in the '30s and '40s--so I thought I'd make a little contribution to the online repository of his work.

The Dinosaur Joke Book was published in 1969, and the printing I have is from 1974, so that must be when I acquired it (or rather, persuaded my Mom to acquire it for me). I gather from Drew's post that Berman's career was well in decline at that point, unfortunately. You'd never guess the art in the Joke Book was done by the same guy who made all those sophisticated, polished caricatures and illustrations back in his heyday. But oh man, these drawings just grab me every time! The scribbly, doodly linework is just right, and he made very good use of the two-tone printing process. The childlike proportions of his figures, and the comically exaggerated yet naturalistic critters, are reminiscent of the great T. S. Sullivant's approach to similar subject matter. The jokes are basically old groaners repurposed to a prehistoric milieu, which is just fine for a kids' book (and for simpletons like me). Overall the inhabitants of Berman's version of prehistory come off as a bunch of genial dimwits, which never fails to utterly charm me to this day. So off we go in the Sam Berman time machine (click to make 'em gigantosaurus)...