Wednesday, September 29, 2010

#004 - The Pirate Journals!

Pirate Journal

There is absolutely no reason for you not to listen to this show. We talk a lot, some of it pretty deep and interesting, some of it, yeah, related to pirate journals. We are freaking begging you to give us comments right here, on this bliggity-blog, or how about on Twitter, Facebook, or even over at our totally professional email address? Let's take a look at the insanity/intrigue you're in store for.

Episode 4:
• Topic Thunder: Oh boy, there's a lot this time around. Here are some brief rundowns - Bob Harras, new E.I.C. of DC, leave the "Harras-ment" jokes at the door; Marvel E.I.C. Joe Quesada ?likes? writing comics?; Bendis wants more journalism, of the investigative and non-pseudo-hip variety; and Skottie Young talks about comics!
• Couch Change: If you can't find any loose change in your couch, just sell the damn couch and buy some comics with it.
• Top 5: Villains Who Probably Just Need a Hug. We really thought about this one deeply. Psychology comes into play. Yes. Yes it does.

David Hopkins and Austin Wilson yakkity-yak at you. Running time is one hour and eleven minutes. That's the length of one'a them flicker shows!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

#003 - David & Austin Vs. The Animals

 We love you so much that we won't stop. Here is Hideous Energy: Episode 3, and it is wildly all over the place, and much shorter than episode 2. Please leave us comments right here, on this shiny freaking blog, or on Twitter, Facebook, or at What are you going to listen to this time? Here it is!

Episode 3:
• Read 'Em and Weep: We review two books this time around that aren't easily reviewed, but we manage to still get some talking done.
• Couch Change: Save some money, sure, but don't save all of it. Spend some too. You're welcome.
• Top 5: Animals We Would Love To Fight. (There is plenty to apologize for in this segment. We are unsure of all the problems we have. We know some of them, yes, but mostly we're surprised we say things like we do occasionally. And we're sorry.)

Utilizing the voices and talent (?) of David Hopkins and Austin Wilson. Running time is 44 minutes and 33 seconds. You can listen to this while you eat dinner.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

#002 - The Time of Your Life ("It's clever, and ironic.")

Back again for another week of discussion and distracted rambling, Hideous Energy: Episode 2 delivers on its promise of giving you a unique take into news that has been reported elsewhere. This week's episode features special guest Emery Peck. He's only our friend so we can make fun of him! Woo-hoo! If you have anything to say about any of this we can be yelled at here, through the comments, or on Twitter, Facebook, or at Thanks for listening.

Episode 2:
• Topic Thunder: We discuss a Cincinnati retailer who loves to talk with his head in his ass, and the Spider-Man musical! A thin theme barely ties these together, but maybe we don't even discuss that.
• Read 'Em and Weep: Three books. We talk about what - if any - emotional reaction we had to these. There are tears and cackling and repressed emotions for everyone!
• Couch Change: You should go spend money on comics. Or whatever else we tell you to buy.
• Top 5: Alternate Spider-Man musical titles.

Featuring David Hopkins, Austin Wilson, and special guest star Emergy "Emerald" Peck. Running time is pretty much 1 hour and 23 minutes. You must really love us.

P.S. We are desperately working to get the shows uploaded to iTunes, but it is hard. We promise they will be available for download eventually, so you don't have to chain yourself to your computer in order to listen. Seriously, whoever you are, thank you for caring that we do this.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hideous Energy - Alan Moore

In case you aren't familiar with the reasoning behind "Hideous Energy" and its existence, go check out the first posting. Now that you've read that you can transition nicely into the first ever of "Hideous Energy's Biographical Musings," which is a title that will surely change every single time we do one.

Who could be driven, focused, and downright shit-turds nuts enough to be featured as the very first subject in this featured article? You guessed it. Uncle Beard himself, Alan Moore.

Alan Moore

Western philosophy and existential theory suggests that everyone knows Alan Moore is crazy. This may or may not have to do with the collective unconscious and Carl Jung, or the Roman snake god Glycon.

Moore has been outcrazying the crazy for a while now, but he's done a couple of things lately that I think will land securely on the top of his "Best Of" list, one because it's genuinely crazy, and the other because it's sort of just ironic and quietly laughable.

First, the subtler of the two. Here is what Alan Moore said in an interview with Bleeding Cool, and was later quoted on every site ever: 

"At the end of the day, if they haven’t got any properties that are valuable enough, but they have got these ‘top-flight industry creators’ that are ready to produce these prequels and sequels to WATCHMEN, well this is probably a radical idea, but could they not get one of the ‘top-flight industry creators’ to come up with an idea of their own? Why are DC Comics trying to exploit a comic book that I wrote 25 years ago if they have got anything? Sure they ought to have had an equivalent idea since? I could ask about why Marvel Comics are churning out or planning to bring out my ancient MARVELMAN stories, which are even older, if they had a viable idea of their own in the quarter-century since I wrote those works. I mean, surely that would be a much easier solution than all of this clandestine stuff? Just simply get some of your top-flight talent to put out a book that the wider public outside of the comics field find as interesting or as appealing as the stuff that I wrote 25 years ago. It shouldn’t be too big an ask, should it? I wouldn’t have thought so. And it would solve an awful lot of problems. They must have one creator, surely, in the entire American industry that could do equivalent work to something I did 25 years ago. It would be insulting to think that there weren’t.”

Yep, DC has treated Moore poorly in the past, and Marvel definitely has too. Most recently DC has flirted with the idea of doing sequels/prequels to "Watchmen," which Glycon himself (herself?) handed down to Moore, possibly through earth-bound minion Thulsa Doom. Somehow DC has managed to ratchet up their own level of crazy to rival Moore's, at least in this situation.

Doing anything with "Watchmen" that isn't spilling out of Moore's completely fictional Trepanation hole would be one of, if not THE worst thing they could do. Surely it would make a little money, but it would hurt them more by how many pissed off readers were birthed when they felt wronged by a company they willingly give money to all the time.

Moore's interview managed to rile everyone up, even though the dude has been saying crazy shit forever. The comic creators on Twitter have been particularly vocal about it (Busiek, Diggle, Lapham).

Moore has his defenders and his detractors, but shit, doesn't everyone? The guy has written plenty of classics, some forgettable stuff, and some stuff that is downright unreadable. He isn't afraid of his own opinions though, and in reality, what else should the readers of the world want from those delivering their sought after drug?

What struck me about this whole little verbal pushing match was another quote I read from Moore, taken from an interview/conversation he held with indie comics' Dave Sim. The quote: "...opinion is surely a devalued currency at this juncture of the twentieth century, simply by virtue of the vast amount of it there is flooding the market." Sure, he said it in the '80s, so maybe his opinion of opinion has changed. I doubt it though.

Now, what about that other crazy shit he did? Okay, to be fair it was in 2006, but I think it was crazy enough to last all four years between then and now.

He wrote a pornographic (a word Moore used himself in describing the book) original graphic novel about Alice from "Alice In Wonderland," Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz," and Wendy from "Peter Pan." I haven't read it, and there is a possibility that it's beautiful and a work of art. Imagine hearing that pitch though, even if - maybe especially - it was coming from Alan Moore. Hooo-boy.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

#001 - Numero Uno!


So here it is, the very first episode of the Hideous Energy podcast. If there's any feedback we can be reached here, through the comments, Twitter, Facebook, or at Thanks for listening.

Episode 1:
• Topic Thunder: Discussion about lateness in comics and the effect it has on readership.
• Read 'Em and Weep: book reviews. Actual book reviews. Of those two books right up there!
• Couch Change: We tell you what to buy, even if you have to use spare change from your nasty couch.

Featuring David Hopkins and Austin Wilson. Running time is unknown. You could be here forever.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pulp Fiction

Incognito 2 - Variant

Artist Sean Phillips did this variant cover for the first issue of the second volume of he and Ed Brubaker's amazing series "Incognito." I will definitely bay 350 cents to read it.

Dinosaurs and President Lincoln - Evan "Doc" Shaner

NickFury, by Doc Shaner

Waaaay back when, I'm going to say in April, I conducted an interview with the artist Evan "Doc" Shaner. He's completely freaking awesome in every way, a'la Mary Poppins, and you can find his art on his blog, Comic Twart, and his DeviantArt page, and I give you my word that it is all fantastic.

Various things happened between then and now that rendered me mentally incapable of posting this interview, but rather than giving excuses I will just shoulder the blame completely. It's my fault, and Mr. Shaner has been completely understanding and awesome - again - about the whole thing. So here, finally, is his interview, with some brief words from me beforehand.

- • -

Fact: Evan "Doc" Shaner is a good artist. His style exists somewhere along the lines of "cartooning," but putting a label on it detracts from the sheer fun each image evokes. This guy is absolutely someone to watch, and I am confident sooner or later his name will be one of those household varieties. Currently he has it listed on his blog that commissions for September are open, but there's only one spot, so maybe read this interview after you go sign up for a commission. The art featured here was either posted on Comic Twart ("Sandmen") or his blog (everything but the "1990 Gettysburg" banner, which can be found here).Thanks again to Evan.

- • -

Hideous Energy: First up, where'd you get the nickname "Doc?"

Evan Shaner: "Understandably, most folks think it's because of Doc Savage. While I like the character, I didn't even know anything about him until about a year or two ago. My father's a music teacher in the school district I grew up in, and my middle school band director called him "Doctor Shaner" for no real reason. Somewhere along the way he started calling me Doc and it stuck with the other kids."

HE: How long have you been drawing?

ES: "I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. As a kid all I ever wanted to be was a newspaper cartoonist, but when I started getting into music in high school I just stopped drawing as often. Somewhere in college I got the bug again and started thinking about it seriously as a career. I took a couple art classes and lucked into the staff cartoonist job at the university's newspaper and I've been drawing since."

Walking Dead by Shaner

HE: What instrument did you play in high school?

ES: "I played trumpet and piano. I went to college as a music major for the first two years. After two years of it it dawned on me that they didn't have the kind of degree I was looking for and at the same time I was more into cartooning. I still play regularly but I certainly enjoy it a little more now that I don't view it as a job."

HE: What's a normal day like for you?

ES: "I usually get up around 9AM and go to bed somewhere between 12AM and 2. The better part of the morning is spent answering whatever e-mails need immediate attention and then walking our dog. I'll work the rest of the afternoon until my wife gets home around 5, have dinner and hang out a little, and then go back to work. Right now I'm splitting time between commissions and pages."

HE: On your blog you list yourself as a "dinosaur enthusiast." So what's your favorite dinosaur?

ES: "Probably somewhere between the Triceratops and the Stegosaurus. I can't pick just one, they're all interesting. My brother and I had every dinosaur toy we could get our hands on as kids, because seeing that kind of stuff and being told it actually existed is mind blowing to a kid. T-Rex, Brontosaurus (or Apatosaurus, whatever they're supposed to be called), Pterodactyl; those are all cool but I remember seeing pictures of Triceratops and just thinking that was wild because it didn't look like anything else to me."

HE: I remember finding out about dinosaurs, and seeing pictures, and not knowing what to think. At some point I wondered how the artists knew what color the dinosaurs were. What if the T-Rex was actually neon-pink? Stuff like that.

ES: "I used to think about that stuff all the time. For all we know they were all covered in feathers and heads in the middle of their chests."

HE: Your blog has some art from a project called "1990 Gettysburg." What is that exactly?

1990 Gettysburg

ES: "1990 Gettysburg is kind of a joke journal about myself when I was 5 and my imaginary friend Abe Lincoln. When I was a kid everybody had their imaginary friends, and not wanting to be left out I said that mine was Lincoln because I couldn't come up with anything original. I mentioned this one year when I participated in Hourly Comic Day, and liked it so much I kind of put it to the side as something I wanted to revisit later. After getting out of college I stopped doing humor comics for a while and after a year or two of it I was really itching to write some humor stuff. I decided to dig up that concept and called it 1990 Gettysburg because I was 5 years old in 1990 and as a kid I thought the Gettysburg address was where Abe Lincoln lived. So technically "1990 Gettysburg" is a street address. I haven't been able to work on it recently, but I'm dying to do some more when I get the chance."

HE: Okay, I'm going to urge you to immediately begin work on a "1990 Gettysburg" book.

ES: "It's something I really want to get to at some point, no matter what the format. I love doing the comic book stuff, but my heart will always be in newspaper strips. That medium took up a great deal of my childhood and is a large part of the reason I'm doing any of this."

HE: You contribute to a blog called "Comic Twart." What exactly is a "comic twart," and how did you become involved with them?

ES: "The Comic Twart started on Twitter (Twitter + Art = Twart). Declan Shalvey, Mitch Gerads, Chris Samnee, Tom Fowler, Mitch Breitweiser, and myself started using the same themes for daily sketches to the point where we were writing each other on Twitter and deciding the next day's theme. Within a day or two, someone suggested putting a blog together to post everything on the same page, and Chris and his wife Laura were nice enough to set up the whole thing. Then very shortly the group ballooned to 16 guys, all of which are extremely talented artists that I'm very proud to be associated with."

"Sandmen" by Doc Shaner.

HE: That sounds like a great creative exercise. Have you ever used the site to help you get past a creative roadblock?

ES: "It is a great exercise. I'm not sure that I've used it to break mental blocks, but it's definitely helped me stretch creatively. Plus, the best thing about the way we've done it so far is it really pushes all of us to do something new. Francesco's usually the first one out of the gate on any given week, and from there we're all trying to top him and each other."

HE: Aside from your personal blog, Deviant Art page, and the Comic Twart blog, where can someone who likes your art find more?

ES: "As of right now the three you mentioned is about it. I'll occasionally post thumbnails and roughs through Twitter but for the most part there isn't usually a whole lot of finished stuff."

HE: Would you say the internet is a valuable resource for an illustrator now? I saw on your Deviant Art page you had some problems with idiots using your art without your permission; do things like that ever make you want to pull back? Abandon the blog and lessen the online presence?

ES: "The internet is absolutely a valuable resource for an illustrator, but like everything it has its ups and downs. I've made connections in the last two years that would have been impossible without the internet, connections that have allowed me to keep doing this and grow as a professional. The downside is occasionally your work will be taken and used for t-shirts or what have you, and unfortunately that's a risk you take when you post art on the internet. I've only had it happen to me twice now (that I know of) and both times it's been resolved amicably, but I know that it's not always that easy. The best you can do is try and keep on top of those kind of things, as long as it doesn't take up too much time. The problem is obviously I don't own most of these characters so it's tough to come at it from a legal standpoint, but most of the time these guys are ripping off the folks who own the characters too. I'm definitely more careful now about which work I post and how I go about it. It can be a mixed blessing and one of those issues that's still kind of problematic concerning how things are distributed online."

HE: "What's the illustration process like for you? Do you use a lot of digital tools, or are you more old school?

ES: "I try to spend as little time on the computer as possible. It's nothing against technology, my eyes just tend to hurt after staring at a computer screen for too long, so I try to do as much without the computer as possible. It all depends on what's right for the piece in question. Nearly everything is penciled and inked traditionally, then scanned and colored in photoshop. I work in ink wash and watercolor as well, but like I said it depends on what I'm working on at the moment."

HE: Do you have anything in the works that readers can expect on comic shop shelves?

ES: "I'm working on a couple things right now, one of which I'm not sure how much I can talk about. I've also been working on something with the guys at Mysterious Adventure Magazine, who have been very patient with me and my schedule. Things are just starting to ramp up right now so at the moment I'm in the process of figuring what I can get done in the coming months."

HE: Are the pages you're working on Top Secret Stuff?

ES: "The pages I'm working on currently are for a short story in JAM! Tales from the World of Roller Derby. It's not that it's a big deal secret, I'm just not sure how much I'm supposed to be saying about my involvement in it."

HE: Would you say you've already "broken in" to the industry?

ES: "That's a tough thing to quantify. I'm getting work at a couple well-known publishers, but that doesn't necessarily mean I've "broken in". Certainly compared to a couple years ago, or even one year, I feel a lot more rooted in this community. I've met and talked with a lot more folks in the industry, all of which have helped me further my career. So I guess that's my long winded way of saying I'm not sure. It may be a while before I could even begin to know."

HE: Conversely, do you view yourself as an "up-and-comer?

ES: "Again, I'm not sure. That's up to other people. In that I haven't been doing this long I suppose I could be labeled as such, but it's really not up to me. That's for publishers and readers to decide."

HE: What's the most difficult aspect of illustration for you?

ES: "The concept stage. Part of the luxury of getting to draw all day without having a specific gig all the time is I've got the time to work out technical problems. So now it's mostly the design aspect of whatever I'm working on. Not that I've got the technical part down 100%, but I definitely spend more time on the concept."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Podcast - All the Cool Kids Are Doing It

So if you're reading this blog you might know that I'm on a podcast called Alter Ego Comic Cast. Well that show is going to be taking a hiatus - for a month or so - but I REALLY don't want to stop making podcasts for that long. of the co-hosts and I are going to be recording the Hideous Energy podcast. Hopefully the shows will be posted here, along with iTunes and another website. More on that later. For now follow us on facebook, Twitter (HideousEnergy), and keep your eyes open. Should be a show SOMEWHERE to be heard here soon.


Sometimes you have to yell it like that. Because the art makes you. Because it's so good. And really, art can be good for a number of reasons, a huge list of factors that are unique to every person. Surely some of my reasons behind my opinions might cross over and match up with any number of readers/viewers out there, but I love that they won't always.

Here recently I got into writer/artist Brandon Graham, who is most famous for a book he did called "King City." It's a freak-fest of a fun time where there are people called "Cat Masters" who utilize one of the deadliest weapons on the planet: cats. These people can use cats to do anything by injecting them with specialized serums. Anything.

Sadly the book is in some form of limbo since the original six issues were published as a volume through Tokyopop, and are now being re-published through Image. I've tried to order the comics through Diamond Distributors, but found they only have issues two, five, and ten in stock. Yeah, so it's a battle to read these things right now. Hopefully after Graham finishes the twelve issue run Image will publish a new collection, and it will be easier to read this awesome series. For now though, here's a poster Graham did for the back of the last issue.

King City Poster