Friday, July 23, 2010

Not @ SDCC event.

I will be out at Atomic Comics tomorrow selling $5 sketchbooks and I'll also have some copies of Villains with me for anybody who still doesn't have one and wants one. Free, quick sketch with any purchase. I will also be doing $10 commission sketches (similar to this) and donating 50% of those proceeds to the HERO Initiative charity. So if you're not going to be out at San Diego Comic-Con, come hang out with us.

Atomic Comics Mesa - 11am to 3pm, Saturday, July 24th!!!

Dark Horse Comics is pulling out all the stops to provide a party for comic fans who were unable to attend San Diego Comic-Con. The Red Bull Wing Team will be present with cars, girls and all sorts of stuff and RED BULL! There will be special live cell-phone feeds and online chats with the Dark Horse team at the San Diego Comic Con. We'll have prize packages throughout the day and have local artists such as Ben Glendenning, Daniel Bradford, Brandon James and Ryan Cody stop by to do sketches.

Among the prizes to be given away:
  • Hellboy figure + graphic novel box sets
  • Buffy Supernatural Defense Kits
  • Star Wars Clone Wars graphic novels
  • Umbrella Academy magnets
  • Red Bull swag

Monday, July 19, 2010

My current project.

For the past few weeks, and for the next few months, I will be handling the art chores on a comic called Jesus Christ: In the Name of the Gun. Volume 2. Volume 1 came out last year and seems to have a few bit of people who enjoyed it. It will initially be put up online, a new page each Tuesday & Thursday and then collected into a print trade later this year. The first page is up here. Now, to preempt any backlash I may (and probably will) get from working on this project, I will do a quick FAQ here.

Q: How did you come up with this idea, was it glorify or denigrate Jesus, God or the Bible?
A: I did not come up with this idea. I am just the artist.

Q: How can you depict Jesus doing things like fighting monsters and smoking and swearing?
A: The same way I can depict the Hulk smashing rocks or a guy flying with a jetpack. I draw them in pencil and ink. I'm not drawing this book as a believer or as a non-believer, I'm drawing it the same way I would draw any book.

Q: Do you worry about offending anyone?
A: I'm sorry if I do, but it's not my responsibilty to manage each person's sensibilities or beliefs.

Q: What would you say to people who have a problem with you drawing a comic about Jesus?
A: If it bothers you, then don't read it.

Q: What are your religious beliefs?
A: None of your business.

Q: Don't you think you should not be mocking Christ?
A: I'm not mocking anybody. I'm drawing a comic book. It's action-adventure, not a biography.

The bottom line is, I thought it was a fun read and it's a fun story and there's plenty of action and it's a gig. Those are the things I look for in a project. I don't try to preach or push my beliefs on anyone and I don't want anyone pushing theirs on me. Fair enough?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I've always thought my best strength as an artist was being a storyteller. I like to take an idea and expand it as far as I can, having as much fun as I can with it but I also including a message or purpose to the story. I've never been a big fan of my own artwork so I thought I would try to develop a story with me as the writer and bring in another artist. So last year I developed a pitch with my friend Scott Godlewski. It's basically my take on our planet that has 3 super-powered individuals. No superheroes, or villains really, just a small group of people with the ability to hold an entire word hostage if they chose to. The main character has been held in a military bunker and kept sedated for the last 5 years, since he went a little berserk. At the beginning of our book he is freed from his restraints and must take out his nemesis before an end-of-the-planet scenario occurs. It's an idea that has been done before as most have, but I also tried to infuse a lot of political and social ideas into the story. One guy is not good and the other is not bad, they just see things differently, all the while governments are trying to control them both. I pitched this around to a couple companies and essentially heard crickets back from them. The ones I did hear back from shied away because it was an indie superhero comic. I never thought of this book as a superhero book personally and was really bummed it never went anywhere. Scott and I both enjoyed working on it and would love to do it one day if we found the right publisher. He's pretty busy kicking ass over on some Boom-Studios books for the foreseeable future and rightly so. There's no telling when or if we'll ever be able to do this, but it's been laying around on my hard drive for a while so I thought I would post the pitch pages.

Written, colored, co-plotted & lettered: Ryan Cody
Black and White Artwork, co-plotted: Scott Godlweski
Cover pencils by Scott Godlewski, Inks and Colors by Ryan Cody
*click on images for larger view

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

My favorite comics, or Oh gosh Oh Golly Oh Wow!

I remember being twelve and I had just started buying comics. A Spider-Man book here and there, maybe an issue or two of Punisher but I never followed or collected a series seriously and I never paid any attention to creative teams. I remember going to House of Armand comics in Oceanside, CA and walking the aisles, smelling the newsprint and spending hours in there. I loved it. One day I stumbled upon Excalibur #1, a new and expensive book from Marvel. It was one of Marvel's first $1.50 books. After one glance at the cover, I knew I had to have it.

I knew who Nightcrawler and Shadowcat were vaguely, but I had no idea why they were not with the X-Men (I had not read the Fall of The Mutants storyline yet). I did know that the guy in the Union Jack costume was totally awesome and any story that took place somewhere outside of New York or Gotham was new to me. To this day I think this cover is perfect, and this is how I was introduced to one of my all time favorite art teams of Alan Davis and Paul Neary and the first writer I ever knew by name, Chris Claremont.

As seen in the original Prestige Format one-shot prior to Excalibur #1, Shadowcat and Nightcrawler were recuperating on Muir Island after being injured in the Fall of the Mutants. Captain Britain and Meggan were shacking up in a lighthouse (best headquarters ever) and I forgot how Phoenix came into play, I think she was fighting the warwolves in London and that attracted the rest of the members to come to her aid. After their first mission they banded together to be the X-Men of Europe, Excalibur. The first 9 issues or so were absolutely perfect and it was easily, far and away my favorite comic. They sort of lost me when they did a twelve issue story arc where they bounced around time and space. Excalibur turned me onto X-Men and from there New Mutants and forward from that. If it wasn't for this specific cover, I don't know if I would be drawing comics today honestly. So thanks to Marvel, Alan, Paul and Chris for untold hours of enjoyment.

Shadowcat (Kitty Pride) has never been handled as well as she was with this team, in my opinion.

I forgot to mention the time traveling head-thing Widget who was part of the team, as was Lockheed the dragon. If I had a chance to do my version of the team I think I would go with the original line-up, minus Widget but add a Pete Wisdom.

Friday, July 02, 2010

UFC 116 predictions

Here are my thoughts on UFC 116 going down tomorrow night in Las Vegas. I'm only picking the fights I feel are interesting or I have a rooting interest in.

Kurt Pellegrino vs. George Sotiropoulos (155lbs) - I think Sotiropoulos is on the rise, in his last win against Joe Daddy he displayed beautiful grappling and BJJ technique. Pelligrino annoys me to death as well, so I'm picking Soto here, hopefully with a submission against another BJJ black belt, but most likely he will win a decision. Sotiropoulos via unanimous decision.

Stephan Bonnar vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (205lbs) - K-Sos was winning their last fight when it was stopped by a bad cut caused by a headbutt. Either way he would have taken that fight I think and I believe he takes this one as well. Bonnar has never impressed me. Soszynski via unanimous decision.

Matt Brown vs. Chris Lytle (170 lbs) - I've always liked the Immortal, and this fight with "Lights-Out" has fight of the night bonus almost guaranteed. They both like to tee off but I think Brown may be more technical although Lytle could pull off a submission as well. I'll go with the guy with the better nickname and say Matt "The Immortal" Brown by split decision.

Chris Leben vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama (185lbs) - Neither guy excites me. I like a slugfest as much as the next guy but Leben relies on haymakers and Akiyama didn't impress me in his last fight with Alan Belcher. Leben is taking this fight on short notice and just fought 2 weeks ago, he has a solid chin but two fights inside of 15 days may be a bit much. Akiyama is the favorite, I think he takes it by TKO.

Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin (UFC Heavyweight Championship) - With only 12 fights under his belt, Carwin has almost 3 times as many as Lesnar. Lesnar has fought an over-hyped Frank Mir twice and split those two, an aging and undersized Randy Coutoure and Heath Herring who is no longer with the promotion. Not exactly a murderer's row. Carwin is in the same boat though with only Gonzaga and Mir as top-tier competition. Mir has faced them both and was knocked out by them both. Both has wrestling credentials and both are almost the same size. This is a very tough fight to call. I'm picking Carwin, I think his boxing is going to be slightly better and that is going to make the difference in this fight. I don't know if Lesnar even gets it to the ground without eating a few shots first and that may be all the difference. Shane Carwin by TKO, round 1.