Comic Books

Only Mildly Irritating!

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Comic Books, Journal | Leave a comment

Holy shit! We made one of my favorite weeklies, The Onion!!

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And we’re only “Mildly Irritating”! Hell, we made it across the halfway point, we’re rolling on into “tolerable” country, baby!! Once our children are assimilated and speak the language they will be fully recognized as “Tolerable” citizens, meanwhile MTV’s Engaged & Underage won’t see legitimacy for generations to come.

In being rated as “Mildly Irritating” we join the likes of “Blades of Glory” and “Edy’s American Idol Themed Ice Cream”! YES!!

When I took this gig I really didn’t understood just how big Avril was. I mean, I had heard her name and all, but I don’t watch MTV, I don’t see mainstream films, I don’t even listen to radio stations that play commercials. I’m totally out of the cultural loop, so I simply never imagined all this attention being aimed at our little story. But last time I googled “Avril” and “Manga”, one million seven hundred thousand hits came up. Jesus Christ!!

For the last three weeks I’ve been getting emails from my readers asking me to explain myself. You see, they expect a certain kind of product from me, and this ain’t it. And you know what? I love it. I love that I’m throwing my readers for a loop. I love that the media is shit storming us. I love that me, a guy with no cell phone and no car, a guy who sleeps on his floor in an apartment by the beach and has an excessive masturbation problem, has infiltrated, even on this humble level, the upper echelons of the pop-kingdom by simply writing the best story he could under the great and glamorous benefactor that is Avril Lavigne.

It’s been a funny year, kids. A funny year.

See my original thoughts on the Avril project here.

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Leif Jones Takes on Conan

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Art, Comic Books, Journal | Leave a comment

Several months ago I featured Sal Velluto’s awesome images of young Conan. Now I proudly bring you more interpretations of the greatest barbarian in town.

Here’s a page Leif Jones did back when Dark Horse was first looking for an artist on their monthly.

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A little Bob Fingerman. A little Richard Corben. A whole lotta Leif!

To see the entire sample story in a larger format click here!

Mr. Jones is a goddamned art monster. His work makes me high. I can’t get enough of it. I just want to shove him up my ass so the art can filter straight into my bloodstream (I’m afraid of needles, so injecting him is out).

Click on his name above to see his website or go to his Myspace page.

Make 5 Wishes: Lavigne/Dysart

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Comic Books, Home | Leave a comment

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Okay. Word’s out on the street. It’s true. Avril Lavigne has a new two-volume manga graphic novel coming out and I wrote it. Yup. Shocking isn’t it? I’m the horror guy. I’m the dark guy. I’m the guy who can’t seem to stop killing kids in his comics. Now I’m the fluffy, sweet Avril Lavigne guy.

Hardly.

The book itself is a young adult horror/tragedy aimed at the 15 to 17 year old market in Asia. If you know anything about the global horror movement, you know nobody does it like Asia. So we were given a great deal of freedom to be, well… dark.

The original title was MAKE5WISHES.COM.

I think when people read it they will be very, very surprised by it. Particularly by the second volume. All my standard themes and elements are in place. Herein you will find my humanist-based horror, my pathological obsession with loneliness, and my usual parade of flawed human beings struggling against the very way of things.

While it is seeing publication in North America, it was written specifically for the Japanese and Korean markets (where Avril commands a massive army of fans) and will be part of a considerable push to produce comics for a downloadable market. The current plan to digitally distribute this narrative is the most exciting aspect of the project to me and is the brainchild of Nettwerk Entertainment, which is run by Terry McBride (click here to see compassionate capitalism in action and the real reason why I am proud to work with Nettwerk). I think the digital aspect of this project will go a long way in helping to keep comics relevant as modes of distribution shift.

So there it is, kids.

From Conan to Avril Lavigne in one fell swoop of the mighty pen.

The first volume hits April 10th.

Here’s the House of Parlance website, they put this whole deal together.

You can pre-order the book from Random House.

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UPDATE! We made The Onion!

Conan and Captain Gravity News

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Comic Books, Home | Leave a comment

Before I get clever and pimpy on all you delicious cats and kittens, I need a favor.

If any of you speak German or Russian fluently (preferably as a first language) I’d love to use you as a resource on my current project. All I need to do is email you a handful of phrases in English once in a blue moon (very few and very short) and have you email me back the translations so that I can look clever while demonizing your people and fictionalizing your past on the altar of all out comic book pulp.

For the Russian it would be awesome if you could phonetically translate it, since the Cyrillic alphabet, while beautiful, is completely alien to the Western eye. Therefore, it is bad and can be given no love (sorry, God’s law, not mine).

Please help.

Thank you.

***

Okay, on to the boring stuff. The self-promotion shim sham! I’ll do the best busking I can and you’ll stay, gawk and throw a dollar in the hat or you’ll simply move on.

CONAN AND THE MIDNIGHT GOD hits JAN. 17th!!

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YESSSSSS!!! Barbarian hordes! Crafty political wizards! A profound emotional loss for an older, wiser Conan! Armies on the march! Every man for himself and Crom against all! Check it out.

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Jason Alexander’s fantastic cover to #2. Due out in Feb.

Here’s the coolest thing ever, follow this link to Dark Horse’s really neat feature page. No, really, click on that link right now. It’s a flash program that shows the comic book creation process from script to thumbnails to pencils to coloring to lettering and it includes the first six pages of issue #1. It’s dope. Easily the finest online promotion that I’ve been a part of so far.

Notice when reading the script just how over descriptive my panels are and how well Will Conrad (artist) still manages to find the absolute heart of every image. Also, Juan Ferreyra isn’t just a colorist. He’s a goddamned magician. Take the time to look at how he communicates further information about the narrative with the use of color. And his pallet is fantastic! I’m a lucky, lucky little writer boy! Anyway, please check out this online Dark Horse feature. I want the people I care about to see it. It legitimizes the process of creating comics, and that can only be good.

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Cover to issue #3. Due in March.

In other Conan news, Emmett from Comic Book Resources came over to my apartment recently and talked with me for a while about the book, you can read the article he banged out here.

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Cover to #4. Due in April

I’ll be doing a double-shift signing at the singed, but still alive and kicking Comic Bug on Jan. 17. From 11 am – 2 pm and then again from 5 pm – 9 pm. Come get soaked to the bone in a little Dysart… yeah, baby… that’s it… you’re feeling that aren’t you… mmmmmhmmm.

The Comic Bug
310-372-670
41015 N Aviation Blvd # C
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, US

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The Comic Bug, after it’s epic Thanksgiving Day fire

A special thank you to everyone who made this Conan series happen. Scott Allie, Matt Dryer, Will Conrad, Juan Ferreyra, Jason Alexander, the Comicraft crew, Rachel Edidin, Laine Trzinski, Jonathan Quesenberry and yes, even Tone Rodriguez (For hanging out with me in the park. That was a good day, Brother).

***

CAPTAIN GRAVITY AND THE POWER OF THE VRIL

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It’s finally in stores!!! I wrote this book between 2002 and 2003, when I was a young pup in the “getting paid to write” game. Now you can actually read it!

The story goes a little something like this. It’s 1939. A black superhero – who is played by a white guy in the movie serials – fights magic wielding Nazi mutants. Cha cha ca. The comic book has become known for it’s masterpiece theatre-type characterization which is then squeezed in between exploding zeppelins, flying Atlantean ships, skull faced villains, damsels in distress, submarine battles and the Cuban Missile Crises (well, it doesn’t all take place in ’39).

It’s got lots of pages too! Like, way over a hundred! Some say it’s two hundred pages! Holy Moses! Plus the trade has a new 30-page story that takes place in Munich in 1925 as the German Workers’ Party is coming to power.

Get you’re pulp on, Bitches!

I am now going to blatantly stroke my ego in front of you with all the grace of a masturbating baboon in a third world zoo. Here’s what the critics, who are read by no one, said…

“Writer Joshua Dysart evokes Golden Age Hollywood at the dawn of World War II through compelling period details, while launching the characters into a story that mixes action-adventure tropes of the day with a more post-modern sense of realism. Captain Gravity pushes the same buttons as other inspired-by-serials stories, but Dysart tells a much deeper, more graceful story than any of those works have managed.”

The Las Vegas Weekly

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“Looking through the book before reading it I was struck by the art – flawless. Every character, every background, every color, it is all there and it is all correct. No part of it detracts. Instead, every picture excites with clean story-telling and rich artwork. Each character is distinct; each detail is referenced. Without reading a word, this book works.”

Silver Bullets Comic Books.com

“Dysart and team’s conception resonates with comics and pulp history. Its devices are stock but never unlovable. The action is relentless. Yet this is by no means the usual rehashing job. Sal Velluto’s art is so in tune with the thirties Hollywood story that you can almost hear soundtrack music. A fresh and loving homage to the pulps, early comics, and sci-fi movie serials.”

– Booklist Magazine

You can find an interview here with the amazing Pencil and Ink team of Sal Velluto and Bob Almond.

If you’d like to support a company that donates heavily to the Republican Party you can buy the book at Amazon.com

If you’d like to support a company that donates heavily to the Democratic party you’re shit out of luck, since Powells Books isn’t carrying it yet. (Write them!)

If you want to support comic book retailers who struggle day in and day out to put food on their tables, politics be damned, check out The Comic Shop Locator Service. You just type in your area code and every store in your area will come up. You can also call toll free 1-888-COMIC BOOK (1-888-266-4226)

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It’s been a long time coming and it wouldn’t have happened at all if it wasn’t for Courtney Huddleston, Michelle Nichols, Pamela Miltenberger, Marlaine Maddux, Sal Velluto, Bob Almond, Mike Garcia, and again, the inventors of digital lettering at Comic Craft. Also thanks to Cynthia Palormo, Pam Johnston, Andre’ McBride, Charles M. Hancock, Trainor Houghton and Ken White, Jr.

***

SWAMP THING

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For those few who felt called by my Swamp Thing run, you might be interested in reading my final thoughts on my two year stint with the moss man. Comic book journalist Bill Baker slings the questions. The interview can be found here.

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For two blissful years of writing Swamp Thing I’d like thank Jon Vankin, Karen Berger, Pornsak Pichetshote, Enrique Breccia, Martin Breccia, Timothy Green II, Ronald Wimberly, Richard Corben, Dean Ormston, Jock, John Totleben, Eric Powell, Phil Ballsman, Casey Seijas, Julie Poulos and Laine Trizinski.

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***

If you made it this far, I love you. If you didn’t, I love you. Come down to the beach some day and let me confess my sins to you over mimosas.

Happy New Year, may all your birds spend the next 365 days in flight and may your heart never be a latchkey child.

Peace,
Joshua Dysart.

PS: If you hate me, let me know and I’ll gladly remove you from these annoying mail outs.

Comic Bug Fire Sale!

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Comic Books, Cool Stuff!, Journal | Leave a comment

Support these cats! They’re my friends!

From: The Comic Bug
Date: Nov 29 2006 12:09 AM

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Here’s a tip kids: Don’t cheapen out and try to make your own heroin. We learned this the hard way, so you don’t need to. Store bathrooms make poor drug labs, and the money you think you’re saving will just go into repairing the damage. It’s bad news.

Okay, yes, our store caught on fire. But no, it wasn’t because Mike left his crack sitting on some old, flammable back issues overnight, nor because I was trying to cook a Thanksgiving turkey in the microwave wrapped in tin foil, nor because Jun’s Japanese translation of the term “Fire Sale” was far too literal. The cause is yet unknown, but we’ve got our eyes on you, Geoffrey’s Comics…

Here’s the deal:
We knew we were going to have an After-Thanksgiving Sale, we just didn’t know it would be THIS good. Due to the tragic yet delicious flash-frying/mesquite-smoking of most of our product, we are blowing everything out at BUY-ONE-GET-ONE-FREE. Trades, back issues, heroclix, fireworks, you name it! All buy one, get one, except for this week’s shipment of new comics, which avoided the fire altogether. And the products aren’t nearly as damaged as our sale would indicate; we just are pressed into a position now where we need to liquidate everything, so that we can find a new store somewhere in the area and restock it with new, post-Crisis product. Plus, we wouldn’t dream of selling you anything that wasn’t in perfect, mint shape for full retail price. I mean, this is Manhattan Beach; you’d have your lawyers on us like stink on a Frenchman.

At any rate, come enjoy the best comics sale you’ll ever see, at our expense. We need you, your courage, your moral support, and your money.
In fact, we were thinking of selling commemorative broken glass shards from our front door (which was smashed when the firefighters broke in. Can’t they just knock??), but stupid Ebay keeps taking the listings off. Whatever.

We..ll be there for this week..s shipment, and next week..s, and as long as it takes to find us a new home. So come by and check out the damage, our new space-like pods, and laugh as we try to sell you comics like a garage sale run by gypsies. And then get out your credit card, because it’ll work. My mother was half-gypsy.

For more on the fire, go to our website at www.thecomicbug.com or check out our latest blog right here on myspace. Or just go to the store and ask us. But please; no smoking.

always and forever
-The Bug