A little too Raph

It's me. It's Nate.

benito-cereno:

The Bully Pulpit Crossover Event You Probably Don’t Know About

While some people might know about Legend of the Black Maria, the Tales from the Bully Pulpit sequel that has not yet materialized, most probably don’t know about this other failure-to-launch follow-up.

Following the launch of The Amazing Joy Buzzards in 2005 by Mark Smith and Dan mrhipp Hipp (now probably best known as the art director on Teen Titans Go!), I realized they and I had similar storytelling sensibilities and it would probably be fun to cross over the AJB and TftBP.

After some back and forth between Mark and me, the story we came up with was The Magic Toupee: the gist of it was that due to a blood compact between Frankenstein’s Monster and Sweeney Todd (to give you an idea of how long ago this was, the Sweeney Todd movie hadn’t come out yet and basically no one knew who the Demon Barber was), a wig made from the hair of Samson, which would impart great strength and power on its wearer, was obtained by Frankenstein’s Monster. Due to some fluctuations in spacetime, the Joy Buzzards, who were investigating strange events at Frankenstein’s castle after the Monster is thawed out in the frozen north due to global warming, get zapped to the space/time continuum where they meet up with Teddy and Edison to take down Sweeney Todd and Frankenstein in multiple time periods to keep them from getting their hands on the toupee of power.

Anyway, we wrote a good number of pages, and a lot of them were illustrated by an even-younger-than-he-is-now Kris kristaferanka Anka, whose popularity was obviously so bolstered by these pages that now he draws all the X-Mens and Wolverines.

The story was originally going to run as an extra-long issue of the regular AJB series, then was going to be its own one-shot, then it was going to be serialized in the POPGUN anthology series (you can even see elements of the art from this story on Mike Allred’s cover), but basically it never quite came together.

Otherwise the only thing that made actual publication was a promotional pinup drawn by Nate fetorpse Bellegarde that ran in an issue of Amazing Joy Buzzards. (If anyone has a scan of this page and could pass it along to me, btw, I would appreciate it.)

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these pages from an alternate timeline.

Other Bully Pulpit posts from this week, the tenth anniversary of the book:

benito-cereno:

Hey, remember how this week is the tenth anniversary of Tales from the Bully Pulpit

Well

It is

Anyway, here’s a thing you might not have seen: an animated short that Graeme MacDonald (artist and co-creator of TftBP) did for his student reel back in cartooniversity.

The story is by me, though it had to be condensed for time reasons. Originally I think it was going to show that the soda cup was full of water from the Fountain of Youth and that’s why the Mustache Guy got de-aged, but that had to be cut. So you just kind of have to conflate de-aging with the concept of imbuing eternal life and youth? Roll with it, man. It’s cartoons.

There is no audio track, so you will have to provide one yourself. I suggest singing “Take Me Home, Country Roads” at the top of your lungs while it plays.

Here are some other Bully Pulpit things I posted this week:

The long-term contract I had to sign said I’ll be making these movies ‘til the end of time

The long-term contract I had to sign said I’ll be making these movies ‘til the end of time

greg-pak:

Gene Yang is one of my heroes. Read this, y’all.
weneeddiversebooks:

Read This: Gene Luen Yang’s rousing comics speech at the 2014 National Book Festival gala
From the Washington Post, article here.
GENE LUEN YANG, Library of Congress, Jefferson Building:
Good evening. Thank you, Library of Congress and National Book Festival, for inviting me to share the stage with such esteemed authors, and to speak with all of you. I am deeply grateful for this honor.
I’m a comic-book guy, so tonight I’d like to talk about another comic book guy. Dwayne McDuffie was one of my favorite writers. When I was growing up, he was one of the few African-Americans working in American comics. Dwayne worked primarily within the superhero genre. He got his start at Marvel Comics but eventually worked for almost every comic book publisher out there. He even branched out into television and wrote for popular cartoon series like “Justice League” and “Ben 10.”
Dwayne McDuffie
Dwayne McDuffie is no longer with us, unfortunately. He passed away in 2011, at the age of 49. But within comics, his influence is still deeply felt.
I was lucky enough to have met him once. About a year before his death, we were on a panel together at Comic-Con. I had the opportunity to shake his hand and tell him how much his work meant to me.
In a column Dwayne wrote in 1999, he talked about his love of the Black Panther, a Marvel Comics character. The Black Panther’s secret alias is T’Challa, the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. He has super senses, super strength, and super agility. He’s an Avenger, though he hasn’t yet made it into the movies.
The Black Panther wasn’t created by African American cartoonists. He was created in July of 1966 by two Jewish Americans, Stan Lee (who was born Stanley Lieber) and Jack Kirby (who was born Jacob Kurtzberg).
By modern standards, the Black Panther is not a flawless example of a black superhero. In their first draft of the character, Lee and Kirby called him “the Coal Tiger” and gave him a goofy yellow and black costume. Even in his final form, his superhero alias includes the word “Black.” This is true of many early African and African American superheroes, as if what makes them remarkable is neither their superpowers nor their heroism, but their ethnicity. Most problematic, though, was that Marvel made their most prominent black superhero the star of a series called Jungle Action.
All of these flaws were lost on Dwayne McDuffie when he first encountered the Black Panther in 1973, at the age of 11. What struck him was the character’s commanding sense of dignity. The Black Panther wasn’t anyone’s sidekick. He wasn’t an angry thug. He wasn’t a victim. He was his own hero, his own man. As Dwayne describes it, “In the space of 15 pages, black people moved from invisible to inevitable.”
Dwayne’s love of the Black Panther eventually blossomed into a love of comics in general. Dwayne was a smart guy with a lot of options in life. He’d earned a master’s degree in physics. But he chose to write comics as his career. I would argue that without the Black Panther, this flawed black character created by a writer and an artist who were not black, there would be no Dwayne McDuffie the comic book writer.
Dwayne wasn’t just a writer — he was also a businessman. In the early ’90s, he teamed with a group of writers and artists to found Milestone Media, the most prominent minority-owned comic book company that has ever existed. The Milestone universe have since been folded into DC Comics, so these days characters like Static Shock and Icon – characters Dwayne co-created – fight crime alongside Superman and Batman.
In the early ’90s, I was finishing up my adolescence. I visited my local comic-book store on a weekly basis, and one week I found a book on the stands called Xombi, published by Milestone Media. Xombi is a scientist who became a superhero after he was injected with nanotechnology. He allied himself with a secret order of superpowered nuns. One sister was known as Nun of the Above, another Nun the Less. Together, they protected the world from all kinds of supernatural threats.
Xombi was inventive and fun, but he stood out to me because he was an Asian American male carrying in his own monthly title. And even more notable – he didn’t know Kung Fu. Xombi wasn’t created by Asian Americans – his writer was white and his artist black – but he did make Asian Americans a little less invisible.
We in the book community are in the middle of a sustained conversation about diversity. We talk about our need for diverse books with diverse characters written by diverse writers. I wholeheartedly agree.
But I have noticed an undercurrent of fear in many of our discussions. We’re afraid of writing characters different from ourselves because we’re afraid of getting it wrong. We’re afraid of what the Internet might say.
This fear can be a good thing if it drives us to do our homework, to be meticulous in our cultural research. But this fear crosses the line when we become so intimidated that we quietly make choices against stepping out of our own identities. After all, our job as writers is to step out of ourselves, and to encourage our readers to do the same.
I told you the story of Dwayne McDuffie to encourage all of us to be generous with ourselves and with one another. The Black Panther, despite his flaws, was able to inspire a young African American reader to become a writer.
We have to allow ourselves the freedom to make mistakes, including cultural mistakes, in our first drafts. I believe it’s okay to get cultural details wrong in your first draft. It’s okay if stereotypes emerge. It just means that your experience is limited, that you’re human.
Just make sure you iron them out before the final draft. Make sure you do your homework. Make sure your early readers include people who are a part of the culture you’re writing about. Make sure your editor has the insider knowledge to help you out. If they don’t, consider hiring a freelance editor who does.
Also, it’s okay if stereotypes emerge in the first drafts of your colleagues. Correct them – definitely correct them – but do so in a spirit of generosity. Remember how soul-wrenching the act of writing is, how much courage it took for that writer to put words down on a page.
And let’s say you do your best. You put in all the effort you can. But then when your book comes out, the Internet gets angry. You slowly realize that, for once, the Internet might be right. You made a cultural misstep. If this happens, take comfort in the fact that even flawed characters can inspire. Apologize if necessary, resolve do better, and move on.
Let your fear drive you to do your homework. But no matter what, don’t ever let your fear stop you.

greg-pak:

Gene Yang is one of my heroes. Read this, y’all.

weneeddiversebooks:

Read This: Gene Luen Yang’s rousing comics speech at the 2014 National Book Festival gala

From the Washington Post, article here.

GENE LUEN YANG, Library of Congress, Jefferson Building:

Good evening. Thank you, Library of Congress and National Book Festival, for inviting me to share the stage with such esteemed authors, and to speak with all of you. I am deeply grateful for this honor.

I’m a comic-book guy, so tonight I’d like to talk about another comic book guy. Dwayne McDuffie was one of my favorite writers. When I was growing up, he was one of the few African-Americans working in American comics. Dwayne worked primarily within the superhero genre. He got his start at Marvel Comics but eventually worked for almost every comic book publisher out there. He even branched out into television and wrote for popular cartoon series like “Justice League” and “Ben 10.”

Dwayne McDuffie is no longer with us, unfortunately. He passed away in 2011, at the age of 49. But within comics, his influence is still deeply felt.

I was lucky enough to have met him once. About a year before his death, we were on a panel together at Comic-Con. I had the opportunity to shake his hand and tell him how much his work meant to me.

In a column Dwayne wrote in 1999, he talked about his love of the Black Panther, a Marvel Comics character. The Black Panther’s secret alias is T’Challa, the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. He has super senses, super strength, and super agility. He’s an Avenger, though he hasn’t yet made it into the movies.

The Black Panther wasn’t created by African American cartoonists. He was created in July of 1966 by two Jewish Americans, Stan Lee (who was born Stanley Lieber) and Jack Kirby (who was born Jacob Kurtzberg).

By modern standards, the Black Panther is not a flawless example of a black superhero. In their first draft of the character, Lee and Kirby called him “the Coal Tiger” and gave him a goofy yellow and black costume. Even in his final form, his superhero alias includes the word “Black.” This is true of many early African and African American superheroes, as if what makes them remarkable is neither their superpowers nor their heroism, but their ethnicity. Most problematic, though, was that Marvel made their most prominent black superhero the star of a series called Jungle Action.

All of these flaws were lost on Dwayne McDuffie when he first encountered the Black Panther in 1973, at the age of 11. What struck him was the character’s commanding sense of dignity. The Black Panther wasn’t anyone’s sidekick. He wasn’t an angry thug. He wasn’t a victim. He was his own hero, his own man. As Dwayne describes it, “In the space of 15 pages, black people moved from invisible to inevitable.”

Dwayne’s love of the Black Panther eventually blossomed into a love of comics in general. Dwayne was a smart guy with a lot of options in life. He’d earned a master’s degree in physics. But he chose to write comics as his career. I would argue that without the Black Panther, this flawed black character created by a writer and an artist who were not black, there would be no Dwayne McDuffie the comic book writer.

Dwayne wasn’t just a writer — he was also a businessman. In the early ’90s, he teamed with a group of writers and artists to found Milestone Media, the most prominent minority-owned comic book company that has ever existed. The Milestone universe have since been folded into DC Comics, so these days characters like Static Shock and Icon – characters Dwayne co-created – fight crime alongside Superman and Batman.

In the early ’90s, I was finishing up my adolescence. I visited my local comic-book store on a weekly basis, and one week I found a book on the stands called Xombi, published by Milestone Media. Xombi is a scientist who became a superhero after he was injected with nanotechnology. He allied himself with a secret order of superpowered nuns. One sister was known as Nun of the Above, another Nun the Less. Together, they protected the world from all kinds of supernatural threats.

Xombi was inventive and fun, but he stood out to me because he was an Asian American male carrying in his own monthly title. And even more notable – he didn’t know Kung Fu. Xombi wasn’t created by Asian Americans – his writer was white and his artist black – but he did make Asian Americans a little less invisible.

We in the book community are in the middle of a sustained conversation about diversity. We talk about our need for diverse books with diverse characters written by diverse writers. I wholeheartedly agree.

But I have noticed an undercurrent of fear in many of our discussions. We’re afraid of writing characters different from ourselves because we’re afraid of getting it wrong. We’re afraid of what the Internet might say.

This fear can be a good thing if it drives us to do our homework, to be meticulous in our cultural research. But this fear crosses the line when we become so intimidated that we quietly make choices against stepping out of our own identities.
After all, our job as writers is to step out of ourselves, and to encourage our readers to do the same.

I told you the story of Dwayne McDuffie to encourage all of us to be generous with ourselves and with one another. The Black Panther, despite his flaws, was able to inspire a young African American reader to become a writer.

We have to allow ourselves the freedom to make mistakes, including cultural mistakes, in our first drafts. I believe it’s okay to get cultural details wrong in your first draft. It’s okay if stereotypes emerge. It just means that your experience is limited, that you’re human.

Just make sure you iron them out before the final draft. Make sure you do your homework. Make sure your early readers include people who are a part of the culture you’re writing about. Make sure your editor has the insider knowledge to help you out. If they don’t, consider hiring a freelance editor who does.

Also, it’s okay if stereotypes emerge in the first drafts of your colleagues. Correct them – definitely correct them – but do so in a spirit of generosity. Remember how soul-wrenching the act of writing is, how much courage it took for that writer to put words down on a page.

And let’s say you do your best. You put in all the effort you can. But then when your book comes out, the Internet gets angry. You slowly realize that, for once, the Internet might be right. You made a cultural misstep. If this happens, take comfort in the fact that even flawed characters can inspire. Apologize if necessary, resolve do better, and move on.

Let your fear drive you to do your homework. But no matter what, don’t ever let your fear stop you.

(via benito-cereno)

Apropos of something, here is just some nonsense I made one time about Tales from The Bully Pulpit. 

Apropos of something, here is just some nonsense I made one time about Tales from The Bully Pulpit. 

benito-cereno:

I didn’t do it yesterday because I guess everyone was at a lake or something, but yesterday was the ten year anniversary of the release of my first full-length comic, Tales from the Bully Pulpit.

Prior to this, I had done short stories and backups online and running in Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker’s Invincible, but this 64-page one-shot from Image Comics was my first full-length thing.

Here is the premise: Teddy Roosevelt steals a time machine with which he meets up with the ghost of Thomas Edison and the two of them travel to the distant future of 2008, where they battle Hitler on Mars. It’s a low-concept, character-driven piece about the human condition.

Some notes on credits:

  • The art is by Graeme MacDonald, a cool dude who has been working in animation basically since this came out
  • The colors are by Ron Riley, whose other credits include Tech Jacket and the recent Krampus! series from Image. I think I owe him money
  • The cover, despite being uncredited inside because I’m an idiot, is by Tony Moore. Sorry, Tony. Also: even though it’s been done a thousand times since, I am pretty sure Tony’s work on this cover is the first time the trompe-l’oeil-faux-distressed cover effect was done.
  • The lettering is credited to a “Chad Manion.” This is not a real person. The lettering is by Robert Kirkman, who used a pseudonym so that his contribution to the book would not overshadow the rest of the creative team.

The book has been out of print for years, but the good news is, you can have it on your phone, tablet, or computing device thanks to Comixology!

So: check it out if you haven’t. Maybe I can see about posting other Bully Pulpit-related material this week to celebrate the big 1-0.

benito-cereno:

As part of the continued celebration of the tenth anniversary of Tales from the Bully Pulpit, here is a thing you may not have seen before.

This was the backup story in Invincible #14 that was used to promote the book. Art here is by Nate fetorpse Bellegarde, with whom I did all the Invincible backups and most of the comics I made for a long time. Some of the stuff here is a callback to previous backups, most notably the “jacket on/jacket off” joke (though “jacket off” should still be funny to basically anyone). Also, sweet bonus appearance by bclaymoore

The little-seen Tales from the Bully Pulpit animation that Graeme MacDonald (artist on the actual book) did for his student reel was loosely based on the six panel adventure presented here.

BONUS FACT: Robert Kirkman did not think anyone would get the joke about Dan Brown because he didn’t know who that was. Maybe he’s right, I dunno.

(via seaknigge)

I’m hot cause I’m fly you ain’t cause you not

I’m hot cause I’m fly you ain’t cause you not

pizzasodathemoon:

Jaimee from MasterChef season 5 and Tina Belcher are literally the same person.

pizzasodathemoon:

Jaimee from MasterChef season 5 and Tina Belcher are literally the same person.