Hot off the press: Double Dip #3!

Well, maybe “warm” off the press, since Tom Cherry and I finished the latest issue of our two-person anthology Double Dip at the tail end of last year. With the holiday rush behind us, now is a great time to share this issue’s release with the wider world! As always, it’s a joy to team up with Tom to serve you a heaping helping of our different but eerily simpatico cartooning sensibilities…

In Tom’s half of the issue, Dadman & Sonny confront an unexpected visitor, while the alien FooF reveals his secret origin in my story, which incorporates a tactile structure that can only be appreciated in its physical form!

I was thrilled that Tom and I were able to finish this issue in so much less time than it took to finish #2, and that’s even with drawing two covers for it! While I’m not a big fan of variant covers, Tom’s cover gag was such a winner (and of the moment, too!) that it’d be foolish to not use it. My gag was … well, kinda what I used on the first issue, but that’s what happens when there’s a years-long gap between issues #1 & #3, I guess…

Double Dip #3 is a 16-page black & white digest w/ full-color cover; ask for it at your comic shop of choice, or get a copy by mail via my Square store for $3.00 postpaid in the US. You can also get a copy by becoming one of my Patreon patrons during the months of January/Feb 2021 at the Correspondent or Art Lover tier– plus, joining gives you immediate access to online bonus comics, including a full-color Human Spring adventure!

A rediscovered gem

… well, “gem” might be too strong of a word….

Since I self-publish many of my comics, I usually find a spot for them (more or less) when I draw them. While digging up reference for a project (more on that in a bit), I ran across this page I drew for what would have been the second issue of a FooF comic that never quite got off the ground. Each issue featured the hero’s mad scientist foe floundering with his projects until (surprise!) one succeeded & led to a confrontation between them. Before I could get that issue fleshed out, though, a couple of other projects derailed it, projects that were ultimately more satisfying creatively: first was my alt-weekly “Continuity and Vine” strip, followed shortly by the Watusi jam comics.

But I’ve learned never to say never when it comes to dredging up old characters in new forms. One of the “anthology-like” venues I mentioned in my 2020 goals is my participation in Cartoon Loonacy, a quarterly APA. Figuring that two pages of content an issue there will equal an eight-page story by the end of the year, I’m picking up where one of those failed attempts left off to tell the shocking saga of FOOFENSTEIN! When done, I can include that tale (along with some others I already have in the works) in a FooF-themed comic. I even feel pretty confident it won’t suffer the same fate as the FOOF #2 of twenty years ago…

(Want to follow along with FOOFENSTEIN in real time? Since Cartoon Loonacy (like most APAs) is only available to contributors, I’m also posting the strips for my Patreon patrons. Not currently part of that club? You can join here for as little as $1/month!)

Hot off the press: Smeary Soapbox Press-ents 100-Page Inventory Closeout Super Spectacular

ssp100pageI’m gearing up for my appearance this weekend at Wichita’s Air Capital Comiccon and I’ll be bringing a new comic (in addition to my “Watusi and the Emerald Serpent” roadshow) along with me. Well, maybe “new” isn’t quite the right word; here’s the story behind it…

The Smeary Soapbox Press-ents 100-Page Inventory Closeout Super Spectacular is my way of thinning out my backstock in a way that also pays homage to DC’s 100 Page Super Spectaculars of the early 1970s. Assembled from extra copies of my one-shot comics, each copy has its own unique mix of content (although I did make sure they each contained the characters mentioned on the cover: Watusi, Flamin’ Frank, FooF!, Professor Harvey, and the Guy with a Hammer!), as well as an original convention sketch. Given that nature of this collection, the material included varies, ranging from just a few years ago back to my earliest days as a self-publisher in the 1980s! The mix could include a sampling of my earliest superhero parody comics, a smattering of the annual holiday comics I’ve made since 1985, one-off comic “singles”, and/or comics featuring Watusi and his costars. The drawings may be rough, the stories may be silly, and they may even take me down a path I ultimately decided not to follow. But many of these comics are work I’m still proud of, if for no other reason than they led me to become the creator I am today.

I had fun “curating” the material that went into these copies, and I think my binding comes pretty close to capturing the feel of those great old 100-pagers. Check it out if you’re able to make it to the Air Capital Comiccon– I hope to see you there! But if you can’t make it, here’s a selection of some of the better sketches that ended up in the copies…

Anniversary year: 30 years of out-of-this-world shenanigans

FOOF30I have made no secret of the fact that I have a number of characters that– in a perfect world– I would be making better us of. Toward the top of that list is FooF, a shape-changing alien from the planet Ofhtesamename I introduced 30 years ago this month. Inspired by (of all things) the entry for Fantastic Four #7 in the Official Marvel Index to the Fantastic Four, I created FooF as a foil for my Armen Hammer character in the fifth issue of that comic. My simple conceit was a misunderstanding where both of these unique characters assumed their powers were representative of everyone on their respective planets, a twist on the typical presentation of comic book aliens with fantastic powers. Continue reading “Anniversary year: 30 years of out-of-this-world shenanigans”

Hot off the press: Smeary Soapbox Press-ents #9!

PRESS09CovThanks to D. Blake Werts’s fine Copy This! zine, I’ve had a renewed interest in making actual honest-to-goodness 8-page minicomics. My first effort in that format in a really long time is Smeary Soapbox Press-ents #9: FooF makes a minicomic! I had always intended my Smeary Soapbox Press-ents minicomic series to be a mix of new & old issues, and this issue definitely falls on the “old” side of things: it’s a slightly revised version of a minicomic I first produced back in 1997 as a production primer for how to turn two letter-sized sheets into a minicomic. It’s certainly not meant as a drawing how-to lesson, but has still been a pretty useful giveaway at shows over the years, especially for FCBD. After six printings and hundreds of copies, it was due for an update, and now it has one!

If you want your own copy, it’s easy: just send me a S.A.S.E. to the address in the footer of this page & I’ll send it back your way!

Since I mentioned it earlier, I wanted to add a proper plug for Copy This! While Blake doesn’t have a website for his CT! zine, you can find out more about his “paperNet” of cartoonists by e-mail: bwerts (at) vnet.net. The most recent issue (#20) features a lengthy Q&A with Carrie McNinch, conducted by our pal Andy Nukes. Definitely worth the read!