Tag Archives: comics


I think it was around a year ago that I was contacted by Threadless Tees about doing something for them.  Upon hearing just what it was they wanted me to do I threw up and suggested something less awful, possibly my doing some shirts with them and they agreed, but to this day, whenever I see their reps at conventions or at the T-shirt clubs, they give me the creepster eye, leering lasciviously at my beautiful ears.

Eventually, Threadless asked me to do one of their Comics on Tees series, and so I did, employing the freakishly talented help of Ethan Nicolle, JR. Goldberg, and Becky Cloonan.  I had just seen 13 Assassins, the Miike remake, and one by one, I collected each of those artists, convincing them that what I wanted to do was right and just and bloody-minded.  They agreed, except for Cloonan, who swore never to kill again.  I assure her that no blood would be shed in the making of these shirts, lying through my teeth.

If you don’t know anything about these Comics on Tees things, it basically goes something like this.  Someone, me in this case, thinks up a sort of script that would be told over the course of four shirts, and then four artists illustrate said script, each getting a shirt (issue).  Pretty straightforward.

My series, MAKING FRIENDS IS EASY,  is about an inventor recounting the various robots she has built.  That’s all.  What more you need besides robots, though?  The shirts are available over at Threadless and you should probably feel like a complete jerk for not already buying it.  Psh…
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Johnny the Digicidal Maniac: UPDATE 1!

Who could forget that classic scene?

4 A.M, the streets are thick with the undead and I’ve got a Star Trek Voyager marathon going on Netflix.  Janeway’s in love with a hologram and it’s maybe one of the saddest, most pathetic episodes of this show yet.  Also, I’ve just completed scanning the first three issues of JTHM original pages.

There won’t be too many things of note during just the scanning phase, mostly things I notice about the actual physical pages themselves, weird doodles I find on the edges or even the backsides of the pages.  The real fun, or horror, will probably be when I go into the actual files for cleanup and corrections as, contrary to what people might think, I don’t really read my stuff very much after I’ve completed it.  I don’t actually know the last time I read an issue of JTHM.  I actually don’t even have copies of the issues myself!

That brings me to one of the first, and strongest reactions I’ve had to just even glancing at the pages while scanning them:  Almost all of the actual writing in the book feels a little foreign to me.  It’s not because I deny ever having written the stuff, but it’s just that I really don’t swim around in the books after finishing them.  So while people make references to stuff, quote characters and allude to situations in the book, I don’t always know what the hell they’re talking about, or I’ll recognize it but have no real response to it beyond acknowledging that yes, I did indeed write that.  It’s nothing less than awesome that people quote my crap at all, but I think I would not be true to myself if I didn’t tell them to shut the fuck up and then taze them in their balls and or labia.

That scenario plays itself out much more often with Invader ZIM references, but it’s the same thing.   Rikki Simons has every right to want to murder me for writing the Doom Song.

It’s not a new thought, and like I said, it was one I revisited  quite a bit once ZIM was a thing, but looking through these JTHM pages, I’m reminded of when i first started having them thanks to things like the Meanwhile where Devi’s date shits his pants.

Even Johnny himself, on that Twitter account I made for him, makes almost no reference to anything he did or said in the comics.  It’d become the thing of fanfic, using bits and pieces of old corpses to construct something “new” out of an old mess.

Another thing I was reminded of is how obvious it is that I had never done a comic book before, not a real one.  The way some of the pages are formatted and taped together is pretty hilarious to me now.

Top notch storage facilities.

Almost every page was done on Bristol paper, but there was no real consistency to the size of paper I used.  Some pages were drawn to scale, some were on 11″x14″ paper  while others were on 14″x17″ sheets.  Fortunately I’ve quite a big scanner (that’s right, ladies), so it’s no problem dealing with them now, but I’m not entirely sure just why I used such large paper.

For the first few issues, anything with gray tones in it was generally done with markers, and it shows, with the darker areas apparent from where the marker strokes went back over themselves.  What I had forgotten was that I wasn’t actually using markers directly on the original ink work.  I think I originally started that way, but quickly saw that the markers were dragging the black ink away, creating a nasty smudge effect.  Seems I would finish inking a page, and then make photocopies of them.  Kinkos Copies was a huge part of my life while working on those first comics, almost to the point of being a nightly ritual.  I would finish a page, drive to Kinko’s around 2 or 3 in the morning, and print out a couple of copies, some sized down to the actual comic book scale just so I could marvel at how it would eventually look in people’s fat hands.  I actually had a friend who worked there, so it was half visit, half getting in actual social interaction.

From there, I would shade the copies, sometimes the scaled down ones, sometimes the full sized ones.  The full sized ones I would cute apart, panel by panel, shade them, and glue them to the backs of the original pages.  I must have that that was very clever because the first few Meanwhiles were done that way.

Another common stop on my post page circuit was a stop to the grocery store where I’d often just park and weep in the parking lot, wondering if my life would always be that awesome.

Eventually the tears would stop, the sobbing would relax to just a few snotty hitches, and I’d drive back home and likely watch horror movies and play some sweet, sweet Sega Genesis.

Oh, one more thing.  This was drawn almost microscopically in the corner of one of the backs of the pages.  He seems happy to have finally been found.





Scanny the Homicidal Maniac

One of the most iconic panels from Johnny the Homicidal Maniac

If you know me primarily as “that guy who once saved my village with only his sweet dance moves”,  you might not know that I once created a decently well-known comic series by the name of ‘Johnny the Homicidal Maniac’.  The comics featured a character that I had created not too long before in my high school years and were damn fine excuse to experiment with figuring out various ways to render blood spraying over the course of several issues.

That was over a hundred years ago, and though extremely rough and haphazard in its execution, the series has stuck around and garnered steady attention since its release all those years ago, proof of the lasting power of the classical themes of stabbing, shrieking, and laughing.

And now I’m looking at the eventual release of these comics on digital formats.

Before that can happen, however, there’s a bit of editing that needs to be done to the original pages before the digital versions can ever see the backlit light of day, and that means lots and lots of scanning.

Normally, the idea of scanning so much old work would make me a little sick, prompting me to hire someone to do all the scanning for me while I laugh at them, but I’ve gotta admit, there’s something fascinating about touching the old originals for the first time in ages.  I’ve always been really bad about caring for my originals, those pages that I did on bristol paper before I moved to doing penciling and inking on the computer.  Each page is a kind of record of various days and nights of my life while working on those books, and just staring at the pen strokes on the smooth paper or seeing ghosts of pencil work is like running a needle on a record in my brain, replaying moods and even specific moments in my timeline.  Pretty neat, really.

The books, despite SLG reprinting them countless times, are riddled with typos, and that’s one of the things I’d like to take care of, as well as maybe cleaning up some of the artwork that didn’t quite make the jump from paper to comic very successfully.

Also, I am going to make Darth Vader say “No.  NooOOOOOoooo!” at the end to keep a certain continuity with the prequels.

I thought it’d be fun, or just annoying, to do these occasional posts about some of the stuff that pops into my head while scanning and preparing JTHM for digital distribution, and so the benefits will get passed on to you, the loyal reader.

I haven’t really begun the process in earnest just yet, looking at getting into it later tonight, but I can already tell you one  thing about the original pages at least:  I take horrible care of my originals, always have.

Things are a little different and a bit more computer-based now, but back when I first started doing comics professionally (ehhehhehh) I’d spend about two days on a page, pencilling one day and inking the next, including the lettering and all.  I’d finish up long after everyone was already asleep, and I’d repeat the process until the book was done.  I’d then drop the pages off at SLG’s headquarters, wait for a book to magically come out of the process, and I would receive my original pages back.

Those original pages would then be wrapped in paper, the way you see fishes wrapped up at a butcher’s shop, and thrown into a closet.

Often times, they wouldn’t even get that sort of loving treatment and just be strewn about the floor for me to wander around in my usual, naked, absent-minded stupor.  I found some pages from ‘I Feel Sick’ a few years back that way, filthy with shoe prints and nudity residue.

Nudity residue.

If you’re more the type who gains satisfaction from toiling for others and you know of some big, ugly typos or grammatical screw-ups, send an email with these observations to mr.scolex@questionsleep.com with the subject line “FIX JTHM”.  Now, I know, based on most of the actual mail I receive at that address, that grammar is the least important thing to a lot of my readers, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, ya know?

Where mah Squee! pages at!



Know my San Diego Comicon plans.


It’s that time of year again, a time when a man’s fancy turns to bitching about how sweaty everyone around him is and wearing sandwich bags on his hands before shaking anyone’s hand.

Comicon 2011 is upon us once again, people, and that’s just bizarre, isn’t it?  How is it possible for the same year’s comicon to just keep repeating itself?  I don’t know, but that’s not my problem.  Here’s what’s going on there as far as my involvement goes.

1.  Professionally (I’m a professional, ya see)  I’ll be attending from Friday the 22nd to Sunday the 24th.  For the most part I’ll be at the Slave Labor Graphics booth (Booth 1815), but I might be signing at the Gallery Nucleus booth (Booth 2235) on Friday or Sunday as well.  Non-professionally, I am at the convention center year round, as I live in the walls like a stinking rat person, hoarding garbage and eating the end cap pieces of hot dogs.


This one’s just in time for Comicon, so if you’re not there to get one from Slave Labor Graphic’s booth, there’s something just wrong with you and I’m not even sure why I’m still talking to you.  This shirt uses the J’s Not J print image, only in shirt form with a modified color palette.  These are on a truck heading to San Diego and I haven’t even seen them yet, so I hope they’re alright.  Even if they’re not alright, you should probably bring a garbage bag to fill up with all the shirts you’re gonna buy.


Gallery Nucleus is going to doing a new print of mine, and thought it would be nice to have me sign it at its premier at the San Diego Comicon.  I’ll probably make them regret thinking anything will ever be nice ever again, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop by on Friday the 22nd, 1PM (for now) and grab one to get signed.  Or just grab one, really, and don’t get it signed.  Just buy it, don’t make eye contact with anyone, and just sorta skulk off without a word.  That’d be pretty good too.



Signing these for Gallery Nucleus at their booth (2235) on Friday at 1-2 PM.  It’s a fast signing, so try to make it!  Might add another signing for these on Sunday, but not sure yet.


This is just a panel with a few of the artists that did work on Marvel’s Strange Tales anthologies.  I’ll be there mumbling incoherently about my experience working on the MODOK and Wolverine stories I did for them.  I will have some SHOCKING revelations (psst: no I won’t), so don’t miss it!  This is the official blurb from the program guide:

6:00-7:00 A Strange Tale of a Panel: Indie Creators on Marvel’s Strange Tales— Excelsior! Show up early and stay late as some of comics’ best indie creators come out of the closet, revealing themselves as maniacal Marvel madmen. Witness twisted love for some of mainstream comics’ best characters! Forbidden fantasies fulfilled! Shannon “Too Much Coffee Man” Wheeler comes clean about his eco-terrorist Red Skull; Jhonen “The Homicidal Maniac”Vasquez mulls over M.O.D.O.K.; and Jeffrey “Incredible Change-bots” Brownmesses with the Merry Mutants. And more major terrific talents join this core crew, spilling secret stories from Marvel’s Strange Tales. Room 9

It’s going to be amazing, and if it isn’t I was probably just lying about it being amazing.


Not so secret, really, but I can’t say just now what it’ll be as I’m not sure.  If it’s what I think I’m thinking it will be, it’ll be pretty fantastic.  I hope it’s not something awful, really.  Either way, more on this as I get more information out of myself.  This’ll be the usual deal I’ve been doing at conventions for the last year or so where I do a very small run of prints to sell to people who know a particular password that binds them to the print in question.  It’s like a Lord of the Rings situation, only it ends up with the buyer’s (the not very attractive ones anyhow) having to wash my car.

The password to buy this print will be:  “AH SHORE WUD LAHK ONE’A DEM PRINTS”

If you could speak this in a real thick southern accent that would be awesome.  Please try.  As always, these will be going for $35 and all proceeds will go to too much pie in my stomach.

Anyhow, here’s a tiny sliver of a peek in case you’re that: impatient: