Action Age Update: Dan McDaid Gets Stoned!



I’ve been holding off on this for a while, but since it’s up on The Action Age tonight, I’m proud to annouce that Jersey Gods artist Dan McDaid is doing the pinup for The Chronicles of Solomon Stone #1, with colors by Tamas Jakab! “Night Falls on the Cosmodrome” will a three-chapter epic that starts on April 8, and McDaid’s pinup will be included as a bonus feature with Chapter 3!

ISB readers will no doubt recall that I’m a huge fan of McDaid’s work–not to mention the guy himself, ’cause he’s a prince–and with his permission, I’ve put up a few of the preliminary sketches that he discarded in favor of the final piece for your viewing pleasure. Just click the image above and check ’em out!

Which means that yes: the actual pinup is going to be more awesome than the World’s Greatest Half-Vampire Private Detective Skateboard Champion with a crossbow that is on fire. Believe it.

Well How Else Would He Do It?

Originally, my plan for tonight was to do a bit of a longer post, but I got caught up in reading my new copy of Bat-Manga!, and brother, that thing’ll eat a couple of hours like nobody’s business.

I mentioned this thing back when it was solicited, but for those of you who missed it, Bat-Manga! is Chip Kidd’s big book of Japanese Batman stuff from the sixties, based in large part around Jiro Kuwata’s manga. And needless to say, given that it manages to combine the craziness of ’60s Batman with the insanity of manga, this thing is flat-out awesome, despite the controversy that arose from the fact that Kidd didn’t credit Kuwata–whose work as a writer and artist makes up somewhere around 90% of the book–on the cover.

To be fair, I can’t imagine there’s any malice behind it: There’s never an attempt made to hide the fact that these are Kuwata’s stories, as he gets a shout-out in Kidd’s dedication (which calls him “the master”) and on the back flap. But, and this is a “but” so big that Sir Mix-a-Lot could write a song about it, his name’s not on the cover or the title page, which, considering that it lists the guy who arranged the pages, the guy who photographed the pages, and the people who translated them, makes a pretty big omission in not mentioning the guy who wrote and drew them in the first place. And again, this is Chip Kidd. He designs books for a living. It’s not like he doesn’t know how important a mention on the cover is.

To make matters worse, when he was called out on it by Comic Foundry‘s Laura Hudson, his reaction got pretty defensive–or at least, that’s how it seemed to me–and featured him railing against the “culture of blogger snark,” as well as bunch of defenders on that bastion of class, Newsarama, including one hilarious guy who claimed that book designer Chip Kidd was a bigger draw than, you know, Batman.

Long story short (too late!): Kidd claimed that Kuwata’s name being left off wasn’t a slight, but just a reflection of the fact that the manga was only one part of a larger work that included all kinds of Batman-related pop culture ephemera. But, considering that the manga’s a big enough part of it that the title of the book is Bat-MANGA, the promise of a reprint of Kuwata’s work was the major selling point of the solicitation, and that Internet luminaries like Chris Sims think that the pictures of weird old Japanese toys are just another obstacle to flip past on your way to the next page of Batman’s fight with Lord Death Man, his argument doesn’t hold a lot of water.

Credits aside, though, the book is great. I could go on about how the stories–reproduced from photographs of the original yellowed pages with blocky, sans-serif lettering to give it a retro feel that works really well–are exactly the kind of madness that you want from sixties Japanese Batman stories. But really, all you need to see is this:




El Gorgo!

Last week, I managed to drop the word “Gorilluchadore” into one of my comics reviews, and I don’t think I’m overstating things when I say that this might be my single greatest contribution to the English language.

After all, that’s a word with possibilities. The raw power and savagery of a gorilla mixed with the grace and aerial skill of Mexico’s finest grapplers? There’s nothing about that that’s not awesome! It’s the kind of word I felt like I could run with to make something beautiful and amazing.

And then I remembered that Mike McGee and Tamas Jakab had already done exactly that.



This is how Jakab introduced himself and his comic to me a few months ago in an email:

Would you believe that only the flying fists and Einsteinian-level intellect of an 800-pound gorilla luchador stand between the world you know and a mad god’s dream of global domination? You’d better! Your life depends on it!

These words open the story of El Gorgo!, a new comic book created by Mike McGee (writer) and Tamas Jakab (artist). El Gorgo! is the story of the world’s greatest gorilla luchadore adventurer. In the first issue, he fights the Deep Ones, Dagon, and cyborg dinosaurs on the moon of Titan!!!! There are no fewer than 3 face kicks, one of which is a gorilla kicking a pterodactyl in the face, WHILE MAKING A FIST WITH HIS FOOT!!!!!


What can I say? He knows how to sell me on a comic book. And he’s not kidding, either. That’s just how things roll…




I also think I should point out that at the end of the email, Jakab totally threw up the horns.

In a perfect world, that description and that picture alone would have you guys tripping over yourselves to head over to to give these guys money–and at $3.95 plus shipping, it’s well worth it to get a copy of your own–but since we’re on the subject, allow me to go on for a bit about how much I love this thing.

It is fantastic.

To start with, there’s Jakab’s art, and if there’s any better way to measure a man’s skill at drawing comics than by seeing him draw monkey punchkicking a dinosaur, then brother, I don’t know what it is. And the entire comic is like that, drawn with a great, fluid sense of motion and a style that’s like somebody chucked Jack Kirby, the Venture Brothers and the full roster of Raza Azteca into a blender and then poured it right onto the page.

But the art, fantastic as it is, isn’t the only draw: Mike McGee’s script is able to pull off the hyperbolic feel of an homage to Kirby’s Jimmy Olsen stories without getting bogged down in it, but beyond the dialogue, this is… Well, as McGee says himself on page sixteen, this is the story of “a rock star, a professional wrestler, a historical novelist and a freakin’ super-hero.”

And he is also a gorilla. Not sure if that’s been made clear.

So yeah, I flat-out love it, and if you’re into the type of things I usually get behind here on the ISB, then you’ll probably love it, too. But here’s the best part: Even though they’re selling hard copies of the first issue at the aforementioned $3.95, McGee and Jakab have offered up the whole damn thing as a free download JPG, PDF, and CBR. That’s right, folks: Three formats free of charge and a hard copy you can buy if you like it, which I’m pretty sure has officially taken the lead in terms of online convenience.

Give it a shot. Because really…



…that’s a rock-star super-genius gorilla pro wrestler throwing a witch at the Elder God Dagon. And you know you wanna read that.