It's been a long time ;)

Hey Inkbots,

It's been a while since my last blog entry. Fortunately, Randy, and the other members of Speakeasy, have held down the fort. 

New Year, New titles, Same focus
If there's one thing that separates us from the millions of web comic sites out there, its the quality of our titles. No one posts such high quality work, on a consistent basis, as we do. And no one offers such a healthy amount of diversity among their titles. With that said, I'm really happy to have both mallville and Buddha Monkey on board. Both strips bring something new to the site, and both strips have the potential of building as much of a solid fan base as the rest of our top caliber titles (Revolvers, Allen Shrugged, Odessa, and Zomboy). So, I look forward to seeing how much each strip evolves as the year goes by, and I look forward to all of your responses as well, Inkbots ;)

Inkbot Art Corner
A week ago I posted a "feeler" on the Inkbot facebook fan page that was meant to measure just how much of an interest there would be in establishing an art corner here on the site. Well, if the overwhelming amount of comments and like icons, that we received, is of any indication, it seems that having an art corner is more than just a good idea, its a given. So, in a few weeks expect a new page here on the site where not only you can look at several pieces of art, from all of your favorite Inkbot artists, but where you can interact with them and post comments ;)

Inkbot publishing
One of our top priorities for this year is to make our books more accessible to you, the reader. Which means that if you want to purchase our titles through a digital app, or physically hold it in your hands, you should be able to. Luckily, I have been working around the clock to make this a reality. And, as early as this week, I should have a major announcement ;)

Daily Blog
Despite my previous failed attempts at keeping a daily blog, I figured I'd try again. So, expect a slew of announcements, from me, through out the week, as well as a few personal stories and insights. PEACE!


GARY COHEN, writer of mallville and editor of Odessa, posted this in our forums and I thought it was hilarious! 

Let me get the ball rolling by saying I thought it was great.  I  ;D and I  :'( and I  :o . But I wrote it and I drew it.  So what did everyone else think?  What? You want a long, rambling, self aggrandizing introduction to the story to put it in the proper context and sufficient gravitas? Why not. 

The road to mallville is not a short one, or a particularly straight one.  It is more like the road in The Wizard of Oz. But it’s not yellow and it’s not made of brick.  But there was plenty of dancing.  Oh, how we danced.  Anyway, it starts when I was in third grade and I sat down and attempted to draw “The Flash”.  I don’t know why I chose to draw him as he wasn’t a particular favorite.  After drawing him I realized that o one but me would recognize him from my crude rendering.  So, I decided that the answer would be to make a completely original superhero.  That way with this being the singular rendering in all existence it would look exactly like him.  So, first I colored him orange as opposed to the traditional red and yellow.  Then I needed a name: Color Man (or perhaps Colorman I don’t know if I wrote it out).  His powers: he would control all colors.  While being able to control colors seems like a pretty good thing I also wanted to add one more ability that would really set him apart from, “The Flash”: the power of flight.  So Very carefully and deliberately I stuck a duck to the top of his head.  

I didn’t add a duck because I thought it would be a good way for a superhero to be able to fly, I added it because I thought it would be a funny way for a superhero to fly.  Even then I thought that superheroes and comedy were a perfect combination.  In fifth grade inspired by the expletive, “You Gunky!” from Bill Cosby’s “Revenge” routine (available on “The Best of Bill Cosby” album) I would take on the superhero name of Captain Gunky.  Now between fifth grade and high school I would read a lot of comicbooks.  Tons of them.  And I would continue to write and to draw.  In eighth grade I won the relay race clinching my team's win of eighth grade track and field day.  It’s not relevant but honestly it was a stunning victory.  

It was in high school that the earliest incarnation of many of the characters in mallville would be put to paper as The South High Supersquad.  Captain Gunky, Mad Dog, Black Vomit Scott, Iron Matt, and Death Burger.  Five fabulous freshmen who protected Framingham South High School from evil.  (We introduce The Projector aka Dickface in the first issue which is useful so we could become six spectacular sophomores.  Damn Stan Lee and his excessive alliteration.)

The comics in my humble opinion were really funny.  Very heavily influenced by Chris Claremont’s run on the X-Men and John Byrne’s run on the Fantastic Four.  They fight Greg VonDoom.  They fight Sloppo the living school lunch and Mayor McDeath (a Mayor McCheese themed supervillain / fast food mascot).  Over the course of five issues they gain powers and lose powers and go through many costume changes.  Black Vomit Scott goes through a Dark Phoenix style transformation into Black Jaw and eats a delicious planet with candy cane forests and gum drop mountains.  It was all heading towards a battle with a Guardians of the Galaxy style group when I put my pencil down and graduated.  Did I mention I went to the Senior Prom with the captain of the cheerleaders?  It’s not relevant but I always like to mention it.  

After College I would meet Bryan J. L. Glass the Eisner award winning writer of The Mice Templar.  At the time he was writing and self publishing a book called Lycra Woman and Spandex Girl.  He had been issued a cease and desist order from Dow Chemical for using the word “Lycra” which apparently was a registered trademark.  They had ordered him not to sell the book so he was giving it away (which I don’t think was what they had in mind.) I showed him something I was working on.  It was awful  It was drawn on notebook paper in ball point pen.  But Bryan saw something and told me I could draw a one page comic to appear in the new comic Spandex Tights: The Adventures of Flex Woman and Spandex Girl.  So my first published comic Cohencide was born which explored familiar superhero tropes through the characters of General Justice, Miss Justice, and L’il Truth.  

Bryan was unbelievably generous because I don’t believe the book was making any money, maybe it was breaking even.  But he gave me pages in almost every issue.  He even gave me a 10 page story where I introduced American Pie: the Just Dessert a character who is an homage to Captain America who wields a giant pie pan for a shield.  He teams up with Spandex Girl and they fight... Sloppo the living school lunch.  I know.  I was already out of ideas.  I would also go on to write Animocity (sic) a story about anthropomorphic animals led by the half mouse / half duck Dickey Muck who are fighting to overthrow his step-father the corrupt King Meek a corrupt mouse king.  A word to the wise.  If your friend has gone on to win an Eisner award for his story about anthropomorphic mice fighting a corrupt mouse king, and makes his living off of this story, don’t tease him that he stole the idea from you.  He will have absolutely no sense of humor about this.  (Contrary to the deliberately skewed way I describe them here for maximum comic effect, the two stories could not be more different.  Obviously my character is based on Mickey Mouse.  Maybe they want to sue Bryan but I don’t.)

Anyway, so Bryan would stop doing Spandex Tights and I would go back into a deeper obscurity.  Years later I would meet Chris Rubiano in a comicbook writing class taught by Andy Schmitt an editor from Marvel Comics.  He would offer me a job as an editor.  Did you think I meant Andy?  No, I meant Chris who would offer me a job editing Odessa for him at Inkbot.  He would also let me write and draw mallville a strip about Captain Gunky, Mad Dog, Black Vomit Scott, and Iron Matt attending a school where everyone has super powers.  The origin of this school owes some debt to Larry Niven’s masterful essay “Man of Steel Woman of Kleenex”.  You can read it here. 

So, it’s not quite the same as South High Supersquad but I’m sure Sloppo the living school lunch will show up soon enough.  

The Beginning
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Unemployment (rock bottom piece)

Just let me break.

Just let me leave.

Just let me die.

Just let me scream.

Just let me fall.

The ground is warm.

My eyes are gone.

Can't hear the storm.

The world is dark.

It hurts my eyes.

It hurts her heart...

Don't watch me cry.

You know I tried.

I did for years.

Its lost its lust.

But you are here.

I need you here.

Don't pull me out.

I need the hurt.

I need the doubt,

It helps me be.

It helps me know.

Don't look at me!

I want to go.

I'm half a man...

or half a brain...

or lots of skin.

I'm so ashamed.

Lessons of the heart (piece)

I was taught that love is a white dress with the top caught off,
a perversion of a lie,
a truth that sits around and whispers at all hours of the morning. 

I was taught that love is a lifetime of waiting,
an hour of walking,
and a few seconds of dancing.

I often wondered what shoes I would wear if one day it came calling,
but then again,
I was taught that love is that bus that likes to leave you in the winter.
It leaves enough tracks for you to find your way back.

I was taught that love is a Wednesday,
not quite a Monday,
but still too middle of the road for anyone's taste.

In short,
I was told that love is a "mothafucka,"
it feels good when you say it,
but then again,
who wants to be judged by the weight of their words? 


great news

Hey Inkbots,

I have lots of great news to share with you.

This week marks the official release of Zomboy on the ipad, and to celebrate we have decided to give away The Devil Died Different for free. So, if you have an ipad, and you wish to own one of Inkbot's most popular titles, go to itunes, download the cloud9 app, and enjoy ;)

On that note, Zomboy and The Devil Died Different are the first two inkbot titles to go digital, but we will be uploading more and more titles as the weeks progress. We will also be including original artwork and extended story pages with the digital downloads (which will not be available on the site). So stay tuned ;) 

February 7th is going to be a huge day for us. First we're going to debut our newest monthly title Buddha Monkey. Then we're going to post our newest weekly titled called mallville. And last, but certainly not least, we will have updates for both K and Revolvers. 

The whole month of February is shaping up to be a pretty big one for us overall. We will be debuting two online novel AND the fourth issue of Zomboy ;)

I appreciate the fact that so many of you have hit us up on our facebook fan page. I also hope that you continue to voice your opinions on our titles, and really the industry at large. I also hope that you take advantage of our forums, as that is the best place to interact with the whole Inkbot crew ;)

Attention all Allen Shrugged fans, a book of your favorite troubled connoisseur is in the works. So stay tuned, as I hope to have more info for you in the weeks to come. 

In two weeks I will be a guest on the Sci fi Saturday podcast. So if you been waiting for the day that you can finally put a voice to my type, well, now's your chance ;)


The meaning of art

Hey Inkbots,

As of today I will resume my daily blog. I wanted to give you some time to warm up to our new group of bloggers known to me as the "speakeasy crew" (I like the name). I also wanted to recharge and refocus my reasoning for doing a daily blog in the first place ;)

The meaning of art:
First let me start out by saying I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about. So, if you're looking for a textbook description, or an uber artsy definition of the term, prepare to be sorely disappointed. In truth, I only know what I feel, and most times if something makes me feel then I'm quick to consider it art. Now, I know this might seem absurd, but in actuality that's exactly what I mean. Our attitudes, opinions, biases, truths, lies, prejudices, dreams, and ambitions are all unprinted forms of art. So when we finally succeed in photographing at least a portion of that, and allow other people to take part in it, then the question, in my mind, isn't whether its art, but whether it's effective. Just something to think about.

My name is human (piece)

Two dots balancing on a sheet of glass
While all the world whispers, wondering who I am
I believe that I survived only to go to hell
And all your stares confirm it, as far as I can tell

I often wondered if playgrounds are a symbol of humanity
full of angry spectators begging to lose their sanity
And what of I, who ran, wanting to end the tragedy
The world became elusive
And my name became stupid

So there you are surprised, begging for me to stay
As if its in my nature to sit down and decay
To wear pea coats on Friday and listen to the fray
As if somehow I'm above it
As if somehow you're above me 

Sneakity Peekities!!!


Randy has asked me to quickly whip up a Buddha Monkey piece for the Inkbot homepage. And of course, my love for kung-fu and monkeys will not allow me to refuse that sort of thing. I spent last night researching monkeys and kung-fu poses and listening to The Wu-Tang Clan while my mom watched the Golden Globers (that typo is awesome, let's keep it.)

Let me digress for a sec, it's what I do, am I the only guy here that would totally get it on with Helen Mirren? I mean, holy crap, for an old lady, COT DAMN! I wanna come over for some tea and crumpets, knowhatumsayin'?

*ahem*, yes, Buddha Monkey. ......sketches. here.

Usually I wouldn't share this sort of thing, but this was pretty fun. Anyone know what he's yelling at the top in traditional chinese? (Or the best I could draw the characters, at any rate) It's the title of what is probably the most popular song at the moment. I heart Google Translator. (PLUG! PAY ME, Big G!)

"But Dave, what about me, mate?!?"

Don't worry, St. George. I have not forgotten you. It would be dumb to piss off a dragon slaying maybe-crazy person, anyway.

Remember that, kids.

Here's a quick grab from a panel in an upcoming page from St. G. He's upset about something. And it's not that new Black Eyed Peas song. He's just been betrayed by the woman he loves, y'know the usual...

That's all fer now. Back to the drawing board, as they say. PEACE.

We're beautiful (poem)

The ones you like

Will make you care

The color's right

The narrow stairs

Yes I forgive

No, I don't care

What's fair is fair

And what's not is here

But  here we are

And there are you

So all is right

I'm almost through

Just past the pins

Don't push it through

It's come to life

I've come to you

Don't be afraid

It's what you asked

Just hold your hand,

And feel our skin,

No, don't you stare

I'm still a lady

Though mostly you

I'm mostly you

Oh please don't cry

This is how it works

I leave with bruises

You say it hurts

You show me pictures

I pray it works

And then you say your prayers as I make it work

That one's too long

I fucked it up

The rhythm's gone

Our time is up

More ways than one

We die as one

But love as two hearts sown apart


Introduction to Dave....ahhh screw it, let's talk about Spider-Man.

Hello, Inkbot Nation!!!

I'm Dave Michaels, and I will be the artist for an upcoming title to Inkbot from Speakeasy Primates called Saint George. Saint George (or St. G, as we call it in the hood, yo) is a tale written by the talented Brad Bellmore about a man of the cloth that is struggling with his sanity because he actually believes an angel has come to him with a mission to battle demonic forces. So basically, he is institutionalized for being a priest that actually believes in what he preaches. Y'know, the usual fun stuff..well, I thought this would be a fun book to do. I'm not a very religious person, but the concept is interesting to me, and while the book is largely about christian mythology, I believe the root of the story is about society's hypocrisies, and while people say they believe, they are very quick to judge others that believe different, less or even in this case, more. Also? There's monsters. And I pretty much love drawing monsters. :)

In fact, let's begin by giving y'all a bit of preview of St. G.
Don't get too excited in your pantses just yet, cuz we're just getting warmed up.

I plan on not just talking about my own art, I would like to use this space to also speak on comics, pop culture, and pretty much whatever I be ready. I'm not one to hold back on this wonderful forum that is the internets, so shit's gonna get real very fast. LOL

Actually, speaking of pop culture, I don't know if any of you have seen the first pic of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man. It's....different. Very. Different.

I'm not sure if Pete has been beaten up by Kraven The Hunter or some angry fanboys here, but whatever. Both are pretty equally dangerous.

So, I'm not one of those comic guys that will trash something that is totally different than what I was expecting. But "you don't mess with a classic"...and Spidey has probably one of the greatest costumes in the history of comics! So. Okay....that's all I'll say for now.

On the light side, Emma Stone looks like a cutie as Gwen Stacy, right?.....right?

Hmm.....even she doesn't look too thrilled at the new costume...why's this movie look like sucha downer?! Everyone is all serious. What is this, Terms of Endearment? With fancy spandex?

Where's the friendly neighborhood spidey goodness?!?! ......nice bangs out for those bridges, Gwenzy, kay?

Alright, kids. That will be all the fun from me for now. I got lots of projects on tap and I hope to talk about them here! Stay tuned!
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