Channel the entity "Jeff Parker" from beyond the Ether

Friday, July 30, 2004

Still Working on it, or my name isn't Commander McNutty  

That is, my name from the Squirrel Name Generator, thanks for showing me my true self, Gojira. Anyway, I have absolutely nothing to say about Comicon International 2004, and yet it's taking me pages to say that nothing. Lieber and I have agreed that Monday morning is a reasonable deadline for combining all our nothings and pictures of nothing and posting it. It'll probably sound pretty redundant with all the other convention reports that are out there for you now. For a couple of great ones, go to my sidebar and click Kelly Sue or The Beat, those cover it thoroughly. In a couple more shows no one will even read ours, because Tobey Macguire or Julia Stiles will be doing San Diego reports too, and you'll be all over that. Seriously though, thanks for checking in. Poke around in the archives, I'm sure I have something in there you can read in the meantime. Or go over to the Bendis Board and argue with Lieber about draftsmanship in comics. Speaking of, here' s a shot of him and Kevin Cannon (*update-- I'd called him "George", but apparently he prefers Kevin) I'm not using in the report, drawing on tables at Italian restaurants. And two of their friends, looking on.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Where My Blog Go? 

Just trying to see if I can make the Oracle exist again. Grumble...


Horses You Hold 

Why people think convention report be automatically done after show, why?

Not you think writing take time? Not you think picture selection long careful process?

Zah. Some you only scan report for own name. Some only talk to us for to get in stupid report. Zah.

Lieber and Parker busy writing now. Pictures already selected. This year report up early. This time it personal.

You not in it, tell you that much.


Monday, July 26, 2004

What HappenedwhereAm Iwho are You... 

Today I'm in Los Angeles, recuperating in a sensory deprivation chamber. I've listened to my audio blogs from Comicon in order-- it's interesting how I deteriorate with each day of the show until I finally sound like a twelve-year old. Now that I've Shazamed myself back up to Captain Marvel size, I'm going to try to visit as many friends here as possible before flying back to Portland this evening. Then I'll try to process what happened this weekend to regurgitate into a con report with the help of Lieber.

Comic books.


Sunday, July 25, 2004

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play


Saturday, July 24, 2004

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play


Friday, July 23, 2004

this is an audio post - click to play


Thursday, July 22, 2004

this is an audio post - click to play


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

this is an audio post - click to play


Missed It By THAT Much 

Off to a great start-- running like a maniac all day trying to wrap up everything and pack my convention ensemble, and got to the airport only 30 minutes before my flight. All of PDX gave me a group "tsk", and wouldn't let me get on the plane. FAH! The helpful Alaska Airlines attendant found me a seat on tomorrow morning's flight, so I'm going to wake up in a few hours and give it another shot.

This is an auspicious beginning. Remember, I'll be audiobloggin', so check in often once the show starts. And Lieber and I will do a proper con report, unless absolutely nothing worth mentioning happens. Which could happen.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Show Bloggin' 

Missing out on the Nerd Prom (thanks Fraction)? Well now you don't have to. I'll be audio blogging live from the convention floor everytime it strikes me to do so! My posts won't have titles, but there's be a little interface you can click to listen to what's going on. It'll sound something like that audio from the Russian Drilling team I posted a few weeks ago. Listen in, imagine the adventure.

Okay, back to packing.


Monday, July 19, 2004

Velvet Tiki Trippe Time 

Hey, my pals Pete and Rebecca Woods have launched a new website, VelvetTiki.com. Pretty jazzy, go looksee. It's only a matter of time before daughter Celeste's work shows up on there, I bet.

And from the wilds of Georgia, artist Dean Trippe has begun a blog. I'm going to wait a bit and make sure he doesn't poop out or start posting about what he ate this morning before I link him though. High standards, you know.


Fire Sale! 

Comicon International is a costly event to go to, so I gotta MAKE SALES people! Obviously I'll be doing commission pieces, but I can only do so many during the show (and the list has already started). So you might want to pick up some of the other things offered at my table, EE-03 in Artist Alley. Things I think I'm bringing...

Pages from my story in Vampirella Magazine #3

That Alternate Cover, which is featured in my WORKSHOP on Parkerspace.com.

The Green Arrow pinup from JLA to Z.

The Escapist pinup from Michael Chabon Presents The Escapist #3 (I'm always in #3 of things).

Color prints of the Escapist and Vampirella pieces (more affordable!).

Color print of my Spider-Man 2 piece(see a few posts down) that will be in the DVD later this year. But this is much bigger.

My graphic adventure novel THE INTERMAN, which I'll sketch in, and

Random comics and pages that I haven't begun to round up yet.

And I'll throw in an Interman poster (they're runnin' out) with every purchase. Heck, make a good offer on my shoes and you can have those. If Lieber is away from his half of the table, I'll be selling what he has at a discount. Come on over!


Sunday, July 18, 2004

Yes, They Pay For This.... 

Let's go ahead and get this one out of the way, and I don't think I have any racier than that. More from that Female Sexuality documentary, which couldn't have been the most sensitive look at the subject. Did anyone see it? Did it ever run on TV? And was there a reason I was supposed to make some of these look like old books?

On a related note, are we as a country ever going to stop doing naughty takes on 1950's culture? And is squaresville kitschiness really still that ripe for exploration? Even This Modern World, which has milked that joke style every week for years seems to be finally getting away from it. Tim Burton may even be tired of it by now (though Ed Wood is his best film). I'm just saying that if you find yourself in any medium about to do parody featuring a guy with a pipe in his mouth saying "gosh" and "swell", consider the road less travelled for a change.

Unless you're making a buck off of it, of course.


Friday, July 16, 2004

Need Science, Liked Buckbeak 

My bloglist is pretty paltry over there compared to other sites, but I'm gradually adding-- and subtracting. I keep checking in on Science News and Notes, but it hasn't been updated in months, so I'm dropping it. If anyone can suggest other good science blogs, I'm all ears. I'll balance it out tonight by adding Hulk's Blog now that he's back. Parker like. Thunderbolt Ross' daughter hot.

In other non-news, just writing because I use this site to warm up for other writing like a lot of people do, I went to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban earlier. I was really enjoying Alfonso Cuaron's direction-- so unlike Chris Columbus' calculated spoonfeeding. The look of Harry's world is more authentic, and it feels more like England. I think more shooting in real places helped. And it's a less audience-friendly world, giving the magical life just the bit more menace that it needed. The kids are all progressing as actors, but they still have some timing problems that need to be worked through. I was completely into it until halfway through when Allie started talking at the screen. We wanted to go to an earlier matinee when no one would be in the room, but didn't make it, and there were plenty of people in this little theatre who likely didn't want to hear a baby babble, even though she wasn't crying. Since Jill had let me stay in to watch Hellboy a while back, it was my turn to miss out on the rest of the movie, and Miss Chatty and I went to play in the lobby and practice walking. I wish I'd gotten to see Gary Oldman as Sirius. Fortunately Portland is the home of second-run theatres, so I'll get another shot.

Now where the hell is my preview button, Blogger? I need that thing.


The Oracle Predicts... Pain 

Only a few days away from Comicon International 2004, and I'm already shaking with cold sweats! I'm sure I'm not the only one. Just imagine a bunch of people who work in dark quiet rooms at home all day, maybe seeing the Fed-Ex or Airborne guy once a week. Now imagine them in a BRIGHT room thumping with soundtracks and themesongs nonstop, and being beset by a thousand people a day asking questions. Forget having quality time with anyone who's work you enjoy, there's signings and panels to get to. Still, this is the best opportunity to make some money and keep the bills paid, right? Wellll....maybe. Also maybe the opportunity for comics folk has peaked and will be sliding down on a flow chart.

Parker, you're like...like... the Negative Man or somethin'! Why, attendance grows by thousands every year! Now the biggest celebrities in the world put in appearances! Lucasfilm, Bandai, Hasbro, every major player is exhibiting!

And yes, imaginary arguer, that's why I say that. Hey lookit, here's a carefully marked dissection of the Comicon floorplan...

The premium floorspace is dominated by companies that make toys, film, and games. Publishers get to orbit around these Titans, and the bulk of comics people are literally pushed to the sides. Now the show takes up the entire length of the San Diego convention center, which is filled with attendees: no mean feat to navigate through. A fan trying to see the whole thing and visit a creator may have only one chance, especially if just in for the day. If any exhibitors go to the bathroom or off to buy a $5 pretzel, odds are good they're going to miss people who wanted to see them. Even if they stay put, really. This could be fixed by putting all comics folk center and the giant multimedia display exhibits at the far end; the same kind of placement good bookstores and supermarkets use to drive traffic through the maximum number of attractions. But I think we can be sure that's not going to happen. What is happening though, is that the show is bearing a closer resemblance to E3, the yearly Electronic Entertainment Exposition in Los Angeles. It attracts more people, but they're people coming to collect freebies. Last year many complained of kids (and adults) snatching comics and prints from their tables assuming the stuff was free promotional material. I think it's safe to make some guesses here...

-There's no more floorspace on the bottom floor, and more big exhibitors want in. Well, there's that outdoor area under the sails upstairs--now, what contingent of exhibitors can't pay as much for boothspace.... hmmm... and hey, those hippies in Artist Alley aren't paying at all! Off you go, pikers! And booth prices will quickly outstrip the return comics retailers make, bam, you're outta here fellers. Except maybe Bud Plant.

I'm not saying the comics community will be shown the door, but I do believe we may be seeing the end of the lucrative side of Comicon. And even though most of us are no good at math, once it makes no financial sense to go, many creators will stop going. And who cares-- Jude Law and Jennifer Garner are upstairs in 6B! And I think Buffy is going to be there!

Okay, enough sour-pussing. My next few entries will focus on the positives. And then I go dive into Thunderdome.


Thursday, July 15, 2004


Via die puny humans and the BBC I just read this capitulation from Steven Hawking, everyone's favorite cyborg physicist. It seems now black holes don't destroy everything that gets sucked into them, despite what he's said for 30 years. Oh, well thanks Hawking, now I've got to go back and change a lot of plans I've been working on. Pretty interesting stuff, I just wish I were actually capable of understanding it.


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Adventure Blog 

Hey, go look at Thrillmer, a cool blog I didn't know about but just found via the Tothfans site. He's putting up examples of the greatest adventure and classic comic strips ever done, such as Captain Easy, and hopefully plenty of Terry and the Pirates. Great, another thing to pull me away from the drawing table, just what I needed. Check it out.


It's a Livin': Part 1 

Ringo's blog is a hotbed of activity now that he can post images, Mike's even drawing extra stuff to keep it coming. Cool axe-man. Now I'm inspired to put up some images that are just sitting in folders; I have tons of storyboards for commercials, pitches and so forth, so I'm going to put a few up periodically. Many are bizarre, and funnier out of context, but I just found three that I'll explain. These were bumpers for a female sexuality documentary, which like most things I work on, I have no idea if it ever got made or aired or anything. I think the point of these was to illustrate a percentage of women who have ... um, er...(coff), you see...


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Without A Country! 

The build-up to COMICON INTERNATIONAL continues, with our heroes in peril! Regular readers will remember Parker mentioning that he and manservant Lieber would be appearing among the Exhibitor Tables this year, to save loyal readers the tortuous hike to Artist Alley--- dutiful Steve faxed a table form in time to earn the $100 discount for early reservation--- yet the brave explorers found that no base camp was staked out for them!!! Firm but polite Lieber contacted the Conventioneers telephonically to bring the expedition back to life, but the ancient gods said NAY! In a retelling of the Comicon Myth, the unnameable spirit proclaimed that there was a purgatorial List of Waiting at that time (yes, the time that was early enough to receive a discount) and that the Ancient Ones do not let mortals (boy, I really can't keep the style of story on track here-- I've been working all night) know that their fates are connected to the List. Nor do they inform men that they have not procured a base camp (table).
Will the Spirits take Mercy on our champions? Did the Gods actually drop the fax under a table many weeks ago? Will Parker and Lieber reform the great expedition in Artist Alley, and if so, will any of the Faithful be able to find them there? Stay tuned to this station to find out!!!!


Monday, July 12, 2004

Sketchbook 101 

There's the intro piece I put in Corey Thomas' sketchbook recently. Big Stupid refers to his website, not him. Rather, his grin. He was finally starting a book to collect originals in, and I was reminding him of the Truths of Convention Sketchbooks...

1. Always get an artist to start off the book with a nice piece that takes longer than usual. This will obligate the next few guys to do not do a lame Batman head (I've done my share of those, too).

2. Around piece number five, go pay a little more money and get a good artist to juice it back up, or it will degenerate into lame Batman heads.

3. Put a backing board in that book or you're going to have ink and marker bleeding through and creating wasted pages. I often take up the challenge of putting a drawing on those pages that will use the blobs and revive the page progression, but not everybody will.

4. If you have a girlfriend or wife, get her to take your book to the artist instead of you. The picture will come out much better, even if she's got a rock the size of Everest on her left hand. This is because male cartoonists are pathetic.

5. If an artist looks rushed and not into it, don't give him/her the book. And if you noticed this after handing it over, snatch it back out of their hands before they put something crappy in there. Or you'll have to razor it out later. The biggest key to avoiding this again is:

6. PAYING said artist. If you're just asking for free quickies, then expect what you'll get. It would be nice if you'd keep a separate book for freebies and one for commissions though,-- it's not fair to have someone who was under the gun and could only do a fast face in there later get their piece compared to Bill Stout's girl and dinosaur piece you paid $200 for.

7. Try to find a sketchbook that uses decent paper, lots of them have thin, crappy textured pages. It makes us look like we don't know what we're doing.

8. Please provide reference if you have a specific character theme in the book.

9. Don't let the artist take your book home to be mailed later unless you really don't want to see that book again for a year. I don't know anyone who's good about this, myself especially.

10. Make sure and get me to do one.

Especially at the upcoming Comicon San Diego, biggest show in America. Oddly, I'm already getting commission requests coming in ahead of time, which helps. Later in the week I'll be posting a list of what I'm bringing with me to the show, and theories on how to find me there, which is a little harder than finding someone at Wondercon these days. If you have more Sketchbook Suggestions, fire away in those Comments below.


Friday, July 09, 2004

Ha Ha, Cable's Still a Bird 

Here's that Death&Dream (and Matthew Cable) piece I did the other day at Cosmic Monkey for Rob and Cyn. You can see the vast collection of Endless that they and others have amassed at The Sandman Gallery.

There's still time to order Interman through Previews, call your local shop TODAY!


Thursday, July 08, 2004

Library/Graphic Novel Connection Keeps Growing... 

Yesterday I gave a talk about comics/graphic novels at the Salem Public Library. It took an hour and a half, but I think now they're all ready for a career in comics. Or at least they're ready to head over to The Danger Zone down the street and read some. See, look how serious they all are. It was a good turnout, and the students were a pleasure to speak with. Thanks to Senior Youth Services Librarian Connie Repplinger for putting it all together!


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

INTERMAN Offered Again 

The Interman is being Offered Again in Diamond's Previews catalogue, and there's still a few days left to get your order in. Look on page 308 under my company name OCTOPUS. It's also listed as a "Cool Pic" or something of merit. Aaaaand...

There's a special for retailers in the Incentives section: An order of 5 or more books will get your store an extra copy with a color sketch on the title page. If you've had trouble getting ahold of the book, there's never been a better time than NOW to jump on. One of the few comics on the American Library Association's BBYA list, too. Spread the word!


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Action Is His Reward. That, and $180 Million... 

I've had "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" playing in my brain since Friday night. If you'd told me years ago that I'd associate Burt Bacharach with Spider-Man one day, I'd have said "huh." But I hadn't gambled on the fearless directing of Sam Raimi back then( well, until I saw Evil Dead 2). That song now means Spider-Man 2 to me instead of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Raimi and his talented writers and cast have crafted a movie that's entertaining, hilarious, and still respectful of the subject matter. When it was over I thought about how lucky I was to have done a piece of art that will be packaged with the DVD later this year:

Copyright Marvel Entertainment, of course...

While at the Cosmic Monkey signing Saturday, I was inspired to pick up Marvel's Essential Amazing Spider-Man Volume 3 and reread those classic stories. What a treat to breathe in page after page of John Romita Sr. art, in crisp black and white. The movie takes all the good stuff the 60's stories had to offer and makes it all relevant again, improving on a few things too. There was one bit of Aunt May dialogue that really didn't need to be in there, but I still look forward to watching this again on the large screen. The Marvel offices should have a large framed picture of Raimi on the wall like the DMV has of the governor-- he put them back in the black. Which reminds me of a bit I liked from the first movie... Norman Osborne gives a speech to Oscorp about the health of the company that's line for line from a scene Raimi co-wrote with the Coen Brothers in The Hudsucker Proxy. And of course, as in that film, everyone's hero Bruce Campbell makes an appearance. As someone who has had to hear "Peter" Parker jokes all my life, especially from comics editors who like to yell my last name in the manner of J. Jonah Jameson, I highly endorse this movie. Thwip.


Monday, July 05, 2004

FCBD at Cosmic Monkey 

Gosh but we look solemn there, though I swear we were having a ball. This was Free Comic Book Day at Cosmic Monkey Comics in NorthEast Portland Saturday. Andy Johnson and his wife Christy run one of the best comics shops you could hope to find yourself in, and there was a good turnout for the event. Here of course you see me (Interman, Tales of the Vampires), Steve Lieber (American Beauty, K-PAX), and Matthew Clark(Adventures of Superman, Felon), but also in attendance was Too Much Coffee Man's Shannon Wheeler. He doesn't photograph.

The Monkey provided pizza and chocolate for us so we had sketching and signing energy. I promised Shannon I'd come up with a good feature for his magazine while Lieber lectured kids on how to get better at drawing so one day they could be crammed behind a table they have to crawl under to sit behind. Lieber and I rushed to a late show the night before to see Spider-Man 2 assuming everyone would be talking about it at the signing, when hardly anyone had been yet. So we spoiled it for everyone rather than the other way around. A lot of people picked up Interman from me, and I drew a Sandman piece with Morpheus, Death and Matthew the Raven hanging out. I assumed I was going to be drawing Spiderman for people, but it never happened.

So the shop isn't Target-sized, but it really does manage to fit a huge variety of books in its space, and I have to say, has one of the cleanest bathrooms I've ever seen in a comics shop. Relatively new, Cosmic Monkey is out at the eastern edge of Portland where it doesn't so much compete with the city's other shops as provide a place to buy comics to an area that had no options before. I predict a bright future for CMC. Before leaving we all did different space monkey sketches for the store's collection, and then drove Clark back to Mercury Studio where he heroically got back to work on Superman. A great time, and again we salute the contributing publishers, Diamond Distribution, and Joe Field, the man who came up with the idea of Free Comic Book Day.


Friday, July 02, 2004



Thursday, July 01, 2004

The Picture 

This is what I get for teasing it out too long, Coast to Coast AM is already running the thing because Casey Jones sent it to them. Thanks Casey! Anyway, judge for yourselves...


Space Ghost 

Alright, I'm tired of your threats, so I'm finally going to show this picture. But first I'll give the history of the photo.

I first saw this a few years ago when Chris Kemple and I were housemates in Chapel Hill. It was taken by his aunt, Renee Mikolajczyk (and no, if you trick her into saying her name backwards, she won't return to her own dimension. That reference is for the comic book folks...) of Chicago. In 1988 Renee was touring the old Mission Control Center at Cape Canaveral, which is now a top-notch space museum that you should visit. But then it was a pretty bland walking and bus tour that showed you where things used to happen. You could go look at the largest building/hangar in the world where they work on shuttles, and see the Crawler that moves the Shuttle to the launchpad. This was in the Center itself. Renee was pretty intrepid about poking into rooms and snapping photos, and this picture came from that.

She didn't see anything odd when taking the shot, just the flight suits hanging in the room. But when it was developed, the thing on the right was suddenly in the picture. Renee sent a copy of the picture to NASA (I don't know what department in particular) asking if that was something they had in the room, and they said they had no idea or explanation for it.

I think you'll see why I've made such a deal out of it. It doesn't look like what you usually see in "ghost photos", it doesn't look like an effect or is transparent, in fact it looks really solid. It doesn't look like a person either, but it's hard to not read what you're seeing as a torso. My first thought was that it looked like some kind of underwear you might have on with a flight suit, but why is it standing up and the "arm" twisting off like taffy into the air? I'm not saying it's the ghost of an astronaut or even a lab tech, but it is at least weird. It's pretty confounding is what it is, but maybe the reach of the blogosphere will finally yield an answer to this riddle, so spread it around, people.

I'll put it up in just a little while, I have to go eat lunch. And I'll briefly, just for this, add Comments to the posting.


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