Terrible Sketches From HeroesCon 2013!

If you’ve been reading the ISB for a while, then you already know that Chad and I have a gimmick when we hit conventions: We do terrible sketches for a dollar each. We advertise them as being terrible, we make it clear we’re not artists, we even show them examples of work we’ve done in the past, and yet, people keep asking for them — which is great, because they’re a lot of fun. So, since we’re all back now, here are the Terrible Sketches I did at HeroesCon this year!

Michael wanted Batroc (and because I try to do them without reference, I got the color of his cowl wrong. I think I nailed the high points, though):


Rachel wanted Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen:


Aubrey asked for anything from Arrested Development:


I unfortunately didn’t write down the name of the person who asked for Patrick McGoohan from The Prisoner:


Will wanted Jim Cornette Yelling At A Woman At Dairy Queen (this one might require some explanation):



Luke wanted Ghost Rider:


Greg wanted Dr. Strange:


Finally, someone paid five bucks for the original roster of Batman and the Outsiders! (note: I forgot what I was doing so the Metamorpho actually says ERS!):


Thanks for asking, folks! Hope you enjoy the awful!

Terrible Sketches: NC Comic Con 2011

Since we live close to each other and most of the people who actually draw our comics are off in Foreign Lands like California or Montana, Chad and I tend to do conventions together. As a result, people see two guys sitting behind a table with a bunch of comics in front of them, and (with good reason) always assume that one of us is an artist. We used to get asked for sketches a lot, and when we got tired of explaining that we’re artists, we just went ahead and put up signs saying we’d do TERRIBLE SKETCHES – $1. I think it might’ve been Ken Lowery’s idea to try monetizing it.

For whatever reason, people keep taking us up on it, so here are the sketches I drew this year at the NC Comic Con!









Occasionally people — usually girls, oddly enough — will want me to draw pictures of themselves, which is always awkward because I have to explain that no, I don’t think they actually look like that:





Chad’s are actually a lot better — as hard as that may be to believe!

Fluke 2011: The Terrible Sketches



Yesterday, Chad and I got up at 5 AM (after exactly zero hours of sleep, in my case) and drove down to Athens, Georgia for Fluke 2011, a comics show that was held at the 40 Watt, a venue I previously only knew from the Guided By Voices live record. The focus was on indie books and I have to say, even with only one day, it was the most profitable show I’ve ever had. Of course, that was helped by the fact that tables cost a grand total of eight dollars, but still, the audience was full of people who were looking for indie books to take a chance on, which made something like Awesome Hospital or Skullkickers — which completely sold out from my table — a much easier sell. Who knew hipsters liked amoral sword and sorcery so much?

It was also the first con where Chad and I have done One-Dollar Terrible Sketches. I’ve always taken my crayons and drawn things for people, but Ken Lowery has been doing them for a buck at shows since he first kicked off The Variants gave me the idea of actually charging for them. I have to admit, it’s way funnier when there’s money involved, especially since it often leads to me trying to talk people out of them.

Fortunately, there were enough suckers art connoisseurs at the show that I got to draw a few!

First up, the girl at the table behind us, Meg, had a sketchbook of “Ugly Pugs” that she passed around at every con, and it’s got some great stuff in there, including one by Ted Naifeh. I think I got the “ugly” part down pretty well:



Next, ISB reader Shannon — who said he’s been reading since the Blogspot days, which meant I had to apologize — asked for one of my favorite characters, U.S. 1:



Finally, one that was weird, even by my standards. Two girls came by the table and asked each of us to draw a sketch of one of them, and they kept adding to the request as we drew. Chad’s wanted herself riding a wolf (which ended up looking like a horse with an emo* haircut), but mine wanted herself holding a cat and riding a unicorn and she wanted a crown and also for her hair to be “flaming red.” I can’t draw cats so I drew Meowth, and given the opportunity to draw a unicorn, I will always, always draw Twilight Sparkle:



All things considered — and by “all things,” I mean my complete lack of artistic talent — I think I did pretty well.



Later, we saw them getting a caricature of themselves holding a cat and snake, respectively. I like to imagine that they have some bizarre secret gallery known only to a select few in Athens, but it is entire possible that they were just drunk. The show was in a bar, after all.

Either way, Fluke was a blast, and I met some great people while I was down there. We’re definitely going back next year, and if you’re anywhere around, I suggest you do the same!

Kick-Ass In 60 Seconds



Normally I wouldn’t be going back to the well so soon, but with the movie on the way and the hardcover unavailable to comic book stores, the time seemed right for Kick-As In 60 Seconds!

Enjoy, and make sure to catch the comments, where what little points I’m attempting to make are going to be purposefully misinterpreted by my readers. It’s sure to be a classic!

Blackest Night in 60 Seconds



It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but today at ComicsAlliance, I’ve got the entire Blackest Night saga recapped in just one minute, complete with prologue and epilogue!

Long-time ISB readers might notice that with this one, I’ve rechristened them as 60-Second recaps rather than 30-second ones, which was prompted by a) the fact that I probably should’ve called them that all along, and b) doing it at ComicsAlliance, where I didn’t have to stick to my own precedent, which presented a good opportunity to change. But that doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that I have now been paid to draw the KGBeast, which means I can check yet another mark off on my list of Career Goals.

Awesomeversary Special: The Fourth Annual 30 Second Recap Contest!

Every year, when I preserve my sanity with a week of drinking rest away from the daily grind of blogging, I turn the spotlight to my loyal haters readers, inviting them to recreate a comic book story that can be read quickly in a style that mimics my own complete lack of artistic talent. And every year, I am thoroughly pleased with the entries.

So here we go! The entrants to this year’s contest!



Brian Smith always makes a strong showing, and this year was no exception as he recapped a strange, strange arc in Fantastic Four #293-295!

Das Ubernerd, always a fan-favorite, puts Neil before Zod as he brings us Sandman: A Midsummer Night’s Dream!

perpet_fic puts the “action” in “Fraction” (but not, oddly enough, “satisfaction”) with a stick-figure retelling of Iron Man: World’s Most Wanted!

Jared has done a lot for the blue skins and a lot for the orange skins, but what’s he done for Green Lantern/Green Arrow: Hard Travelin’ Heroes?

guayec gives you a pretty accurate condensed Crossed.

heimp left out the part where I was crushingly disappointed to find there was no Tokyo Drifting in The Drifting Classroom.

Caleb‘s Battle for the Cowl was short and hilarious, unlike the original, which was neither.

sakuuya makes me wonder if everyone has a hard time figuring out Lilandra’s hair, or if it was just me with a recap of Uncanny X-Men #200.

Jason breaks the rules with a recap of Blackest Night, but his Deadshot’s cute so here it is anyway.

notintheface loves two things: head trauma and comics blogger in-jokes, and they’re both in The History of Hal Jordan!

Wil gets exactly what’s so awesome about the low-fi VHS Punisher stories of the ’90s in Punisher: The Prize!

Erich recaps the greatest Marvel comic ever printed, Amazing Spider-Man #33.

Jon offers up a special guest star in his version of Manhunter: Trial By Fire!

Jason brings you an even more shocking new ending for Watchmen than the one I did!

Adam Ford only needed one panel for Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter!

Jules joined up with the Black Parade for Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite!

Jonathan from Living Between Wednesdays brings you another adorable recounting of Battle for the Cowl. Rachelle would’ve entered but–as you might expect–she was watching hockey. Seriously.

Jack Hare has been waiting all week for me to ask if he’s dense or retarded with a recap of All-Star Batman!

Andy S! (no relation to Eliot S! Maggin) recounts the story of Blue Devil lawyerin’ for his soul in the pages of Shadowpact!

MC Alcock gets a little Edward Gorey with a ballpoint pen for Birds of Prey!

PJ Perez gives you two panels, number two, and Secret Wars 2.

Michelle, who only blogs to enter this contest every year, would’ve totally won if she’d included KGBeast in her recap of Blackest Night: Batman!

Michael from Jamaica NY (who’s at the Pizza Hut and at the Taco Bell) kaijus it up for Godzilla!

Zeke goes back to the old school ’cause he’s an old fool for Marvel Comics #1!

John Smith offers up a–no joke–beautiful watercolor version of the Phoenix Saga!


There were some phenomenal entries this year, and as usual, it was tough to pick a winner. Here are the ones that I especially loved:



Brandon Bragg – The History of DC Comics
This year’s very first entry was one of my favorites, and it gave us the first of two Batman-Quotes-Lethal-Weapon moments of the contest. Brandon Bragg doesn’t blog nearly as much as he should, and this entry shows why I’m always after him to do so. Excellent work.


Ephriam – Every Herbie Story Ever
I’m a well-known fan of the adventures of Herbie Popnecker, and while it’s tough to make a comedic version of something that’s already hilarious, Ephriam does a bang-up job translating the Herbie formula into crayons.


Ross Hayes – Emerald Knights
The other day I had lunch with my pal Chad and saw his brand-new baby for the first time, and we still talked about this entry more than the new kid. Between “Oh no! A story arc!” and the appearance of Ron Marz and a displeased Jack Kirby in the bonus panel, this one was a treat.


Tim C – Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Former winner Tim C. always makes a strong showing, but this is hands down the best he’s ever done for the contest, and not just because it has me in a Snuggieâ„¢. It’s a testament to the tough competition this year that he didn’t immediately walk away with the win, but if there’s ever an ISB Hall of Fame, he’s in it.


Phil Oldham – Legion of 3 Worlds
The cameo page alone, where Phil managed to throw in Pikachu, Cobra Commander, Hello Kitty, Chun Li and Torrance Shipman of the Rancho Carne High School Toros Cheerleaders, was enough to make this one one of the all-time best 30 Second recaps. Puts my own work to shame, seriously.


Elijah Fly – Final Crisis
Elijah not only did the unthinkable and included the concept of perspective in his recap, he also cracked me up twice. His version of “Awesome Crisis” truly lives up to its name.


Any one of those is an entry I would’ve been proud to have as the winner of my contest, but unfortunately, I had to narrow it down to one. So now, at long last…




Jake – Batman: Cacophony

The only reason I thought about not giving this one the win was the fact that Jake’s got a .uk email address and I am not looking forward to international shipping when it comes time to mail out the prizes. The rest of it is just perfect, hitting the high points of exactly what’s so awful with Cacophony in a way that takes the terrible and makes it great. It’s exactly what I try to do with my own stuff, but as Jake can actually draw, it’s not only better than mine, but might be one of the few contest entries that’s actually better than the original work.

So congratulations, Jake, and to everyone else who participated, thank you guys for giving me something so fun to read while I took a week off. You’re all winners in my book.

Well, not winners, but, well, you know.

The End of the Year and the 30 Second Recap Contest!

It’s New Year’s Eve, and here at the ISB, that can mean only one thing: It’s time for my annual Winter vacation!

2009 has been a strange and wonderful beast for me, and now I’m shuttering up the blog for a week, but I’ll be back on January 6th to celebrate the holy crap FIFTH ANNIVERSARY of the Invincible Super-Blog. In the meantime, if you’re desperate for more Sims content, I’ll probably have things popping up here and there on ComicsAlliance and Heavy.com, and of course I’ll still be bopping around on the Twitter.

And if that’s not enough, the end of the year means it’s time once again for…




Yes, it’s that time of year when I flip the script and demand that you generate content for my amusement!

Here’s how it works: Pick a comic story–any comic story, it doesn’t have to be from this year–and do a condensed version in the style of the 30 Second Recap posts I’ve done for stuff like Infinite Crisis, Civil War, Secret Invasion, and of course, Bring It On! Then just post it on your own blog, website, Flickr account LiveJournal or whatever and leave a comment on this post telling folks how to find it. Entries must be done and submitted by 11:59 Eastern time on January 5 (Tuesday night).

I’ll pick a winner on Wednesday and the winner will get a “Fabulous” Prize Package consisting of… well, probably just stuff I’ve got lying around, but at the very least you’ll get a terrible drawing from me and signed (by me) copies of Resurrection #8 and Woman of A.C.T.I.O.N. #1.




1. 1. Artwise, your entry doesn’t have to look good, because lord knows mine don’t. It won’t hurt if it looks nice, but shoddy art is both accepted and encouraged. Along the same lines, you don’t necessarily have to use crayons (MS Paint has a similar effect), but you have to draw your entry yourself.

2. For lettering, you can do it by hand if you can write legibly, but feel free to head over to Blambot and use one of their free comic book lettering fonts! As always the use of Comic Sans will result in an immediate disqualification.

3. Entries have a maximum of ten panels. Get it done quickly.

4. One entry per person.

5. If you post your entry somewhere other than a blog or website make sure there is some way for me to contact you. Otherwise, I’ll have to move down to the next place to send them your potential prizes.

6. Content is up to you: Despite me calling it the year-end recap contest, your subject does not have to be a story from this year. The only restriction is that it can’t be a story that hasn’t finished yet. By the nature of the contest, spoilers are par for the course, so if you’re planning on spectating this year, take that into account. Also, my definition of “a comic book story” is pretty vague, you can do anything from one issue to the entire history of the DC Universe (which has been done), but it has to be a comic. So if you were thinking of adapting a highly successful series of vampire novels that I’ve been liveblogging on Twitter…



…that’s a no-go. Otherwise, go nuts.

And that’s it! If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out the previous contests, 2008, 2007 and 2006, and I’ll see you in 2010!