When Hil and Jon First Met

Sally Forth - June 24, 2015

Sally Forth – June 24, 2015

Got to redraw a panel recently from when Hillary and Jon first met.

Here’s the original run from June 27 – July 2, 2011
Written by Francesco Marciuliano
Art by Craig MacIntosh







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Q-Con XXII – Queen’s University Belfast

Queens University - Belfast, Ireland

Queen’s University Belfast

I recently had the opportunity to attend Q-Con XXII in Belfast, Ireland. It was held June 19-21 and is one of Ireland’s biggest gaming and anime conventions.

Queen's University Belfast - Student Union

Q-Con XXII – Queen’s University Belfast, Student Union

A special thanks to Aíne (red shirt) and Alianne (blue shirt) at registration who got me all set up when I got there.


On a side note, the neck lanyards they gave you on arrival were amazing. They contained all the information you needed and more – incredibly handy.

2015 Q-Con XXII neck lanyard/badge holder.

2015 Q-Con XXII neck lanyard/badge holder.

Of particular interest to me was Q-Con’s Artist Alley.






The following are just a few of the items I picked up.

Note: Click on the pics to go to the artists’ websites.




Coffee sold by <a href=

Coffee sold by Cracked Black inc. Close up of illustrations below.


The following artist had prints for sale but also these amazing acrylic paintings he had done on hand.


As mentioned, I went to Q-Con primarily for their Artist Alley, but there was plenty of great cosplay on hand as well.


For more pics from the weekend, check out Q-Con on Facebook or Twitter.

As this was my very first time overseas, here’s hoping I can make it to more comic cons abroad in the near future…

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Flash Gordon – after Moore, Bissette & Totleben

Today’s Flash Gordon (June 7, 2015) originally appeared February 16, 2003.

Click on images to see larger.


The third panel in the top row shows a progression of Flash’s scream as reflected in the creature’s eyes.


To give credit where credit is due, this echoes a scene from Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben’s classic “Anatomy Lesson” story from Swamp Thing #21 (February 1984).

In it, General Sunderland is confronted by the Swamp Thing after it has just discovered the truth of its origin – and its hopes of ever becoming human again have been dashed forever.


Notice the reflection in the metal spheres of the Newton’s cradle.


That is the kind of stellar storytelling – that comic art excels in – that leapt out of the pages of Swamp Thing month after month in the mid-eighties. One of those high bars that never ceases to inspire.

If you haven’t yet read Moore, Bissette and Totleben’s Swamp Thing,
I recommend it highly. Here’s a link.


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Ending with “-Ming.”

Sally Forth strip for May 31, 2015.

Alternate ending…

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Drop Panel – From Pencils to Inks

Comic Strips are formatted different ways for different size requirements. The “drop panel” is a panel or tier of the strip that can be omitted because of size restrictions without affecting the gag or storyline.

May 24, 2015 Sally Forth with drop panel.

May 24, 2015 Sally Forth with drop panel.

May 24, 2015 Sally Forth without drop panel.

May 24, 2015 Sally Forth without drop panel.

And here’s the steps involved in creating the drop panel, from pencils to finished inks.


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David Letterman

Late Night with David Letterman - 1982

Late Night with David Letterman – 1982

Late Night with David Letterman premiered in 1982 and was a staple of
my tv viewing during my formative years (ages 17 on up).

Late Night with David Letterman - 1982

Bill Murray and David Letterman – 1982

Madonna and Sandra Bernhard on Late Night with David Letterman - 1988

Madonna and Sandra Bernhard on Late Night with David Letterman – 1988

When I first moved out to New Jersey to go to the Kubert School, one of the first priorities was to get on the waiting list for tickets to a taping of Letterman.

Letterman caricature done my first year at the Joe Kubert School (January 1987).

Letterman caricature done my first year of the Joe Kubert School – January 1987

When I eventually did get tickets, it was a show featuring Jerry Garcia & Bobby Weir from the Grateful Dead. Going to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City to see the taping was one of those memories that stay with you. The lobby at 30 Rock was filled with Dead Heads offering hundreds of dollars for anyone wishing to sell their tickets. (The tickets were free). Having waited so long to get the tickets, selling them never crossed my mind.

When Letterman eventually moved to CBS and the Ed Sullivan Theater I mailed in a request to be put on the waiting list again. The Late Show with David Letterman debuted August 30, 1993, and I was able to get tickets within the first few weeks of it’s premiere.

Top image: Postcard saying you were on the waiting list. Bottom image: Ticket to the Late Show.

Top image: Postcard saying you were on the waiting list.
Bottom image: Ticket to the Late Show.

Having been passed over to host the Tonight Show in favor of Jay Leno, Letterman’s move to CBS with his own show was monumental and every show those first few weeks Letterman got a standing ovation. The show I attended was no exception. Coincidentally Jerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead was on the show that night as well, playing with Paul Shaffer and “The World’s Most Dangerous Band.”

Initially Letterman’s Late Show beat out the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in the ratings, but eventually the ratings slipped and Letterman was behind Leno and Ted Koppel’s Nightline in the ratings. Right in view of the Ed Sullivan theater a billboard went up in Times Square proclaiming Leno as number one.

Letterman followed up brilliantly with the following…


One of the things that made Letterman so great was that he had on guests no one else knew how to handle (Howard Stern, Andy Kaufman and Richard Simmons come to mind), and though sometimes there was a danger of the segment jumping the rails, Letterman always kept it on track and made it memorable.

And then of course there were guests that no one else would have had on.
Like underground comics creator Harvey Pekar

I haven’t watched The Late Show regularly in years, and watching it recently as the show wraps it’s very clear that I’ve been missing out. It’s such a pleasure to see the enjoyment Letterman’s having these final few weeks.

Letterman was the gold standard as far as talk show hosts go in my book.

Norm MacDonald (at the end of this stand-up clip) has summed it up better than anyone else, so I’ve leaving with the following…


For more Letterman clips, check out…

Variety – Top Ten Moments from the ‘Late Show With David Letterman

Rolling Stone: Letterman, Seriously: Dave’s 10 Most Profound Moments

CNN – Top 10 reasons David Letterman is a comedy god

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Flash Gordon 1/26/2003 – Photo Reference

Today’s Flash Gordon strip (5/17/2015) originally ran on January 26, 2003.


Here’s some photo reference I took at the time with me (in a bathrobe) as Ming, and my wife’s nephew Chris as Flash Gordon




As an artistic choice, I opted against using the kids’ letter mat as reference and put in some skeletons instead that more fit the mood I was going for.

For more Flash photo reference, check out my previous post.

For photo reference featuring the likes of Al Williamson and Frank Frazetta,
check out this post as well.

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