February 10 - I'm still very busy (thankfully) with art stuff. By Monday night, I hope to have all smaller commissions completed, leaving only the few larger projects on my current docket. "What larger projects?" you might ask. Well, mostly book illustrations. In no particular order, they include a "Story of Your Adoption" book for the newly adopted baby of one of my best friends from my high school days (fellow Keystone Kopp, Joseph Becwar), a water safety promotional coloring book (based on the true stories behind some members of the band Someday Rome), illustrations for a new Oz book (which is actually a collection of four new Oz short-stories), and that still super-secret fantasy-world book series (for which I am just providing some concept art at this time). Hopefully, I'll be completing much of that by the end of next month (fingers crossed). I really do have to get back to it now, I'm afraid. Here, then, is your African American Cartoonist of The Day - Ted Carroll!
February 11 - So, what project could possibly bring together the unlikely team of comics legend Michael Netzer, me, and my "The WOMP Staff" wife? I teased that question a few days ago, so I suppose that it is time to reveal that the "project" is a long-shot bid to keep DC Comics from killing J'onn J'onzz! Yes, the fanboy scuttlebutt is that DC's Final Crisis storyline will conclude with the death of the Martian Manhunter. Beyond this being a fairly obvious sign of creative weakness and callous sales ploy, it has struck us here as being very personal. J'onn is something akin to the comics-world version of our patron saint, as images and figures depicting him adorn our home. The thought that anyone is even considering to kill off J'onn J'onzz doesn't sit well with us, nor with Mr. Netzer, apparently. He has actually begun an on-line effort to save everyone's favorite Martian. In an impassioned plea sent directly to DC, Mr. Netzer laid out not just his opposition to the plan to "off" J'onn, but his offer to help revive him. We (the WOMP Staff and I) have joined with Mr. Netzer in this project by signing the Petition to Save J'onn J'onzz. That, in itself, was also noted today by Mr. Netzer on his site (click HERE to read my comments and his response). None of this may really matter in the long run, but it feels important to at least help DC understand that this decision is stupid. I'm not saying that a "Death of J'onn" story couldn't be good, or even important, but why does every "big" comics event have to culminate in the death of a major character? It's been done to death (pun intended). It was truly shocking in the 1980's. It was moving, but not unexpected, in the 1990's. Now, in 2008, it's like a sad, hollow parody of those times. I suppose that they are hoping for something akin to the coverage and sales bonanza that surrounded the "death" of Superman, but even that happened nearly a generation ago. Times have changed. Just look at Marvel. They killed Captain America (the real Captain America), and, in spite of editorial proclamations that it was an important move, it has only proven to disappoint and disillusion longtime comics fans. And J'onn is a character known almost exclusively to comics fans, as opposed to the much more high profile Supes and Cap. To kill J'onn is to purposely spit in the eye of established fans, while doing nothing to encourage the addition of new ones. Come on, DC. You should know better. Don't you remember the resurrections of Swamp Thing and Sandman? By all accounts, both characters had fallen from creative and fan interest. Then they were given over to passionate creators who turned them into critical successes and revenue dynamos. Why not do the same with J'onn J'onzz? If readers don't care for the results, as least you can try something else, but, to kill J'onn, then inevitably bring him back from the dead a few years later, is to rob we fans of that possibility...not to mention that it is just far too played out. It's meaningless at this point (unless the "meaning" is that comic book editors would slap their own mothers if it meant they'd sell an extra dozen issues to the few 1980's-style comics speculators still out there). So, if you feel the way that Michael Netzer, The WOMP Staff, and I do, consider yourself a true comic book geek, e-sign the petition, and keep your fingers crossed. It's just possible (especially in light of news of Jim Shooter's Legion of Super-Heroes revisitation) that something very interesting, or even great, could come of all of this. Stay strong, J'onn. We're pulling for you! Here's tonight's African American Cartoonist of The Day - Christopher "ChrisCross" Williams!