May 28 - MEMORIAL DAY! I hope that everyone had a great holiday (it's now a day later as I write this). Me? Oh, I suppose I had a good day, but I also had to go in to the dreadful "real" job, so it wasn't all fun. Before work, though, The WOMP Staff had the day off from work, so, for a little while, we bummed around, just to enjoy the beautiful day. Now, it's nearly time once again for me to go back to my dull "real" job, but I just wanted to touch base with you, and post your Star Wars Comic Book Character of The Day - Princess Leia Organa!
May 27 - First off, I have to say "Thank you so much" to O.F.O.WOMP Brent Frankenhoff. He sent a very encouraging and supportive e-note to me today, and it really meant a lot. I guess I just needed to hear that someone out there still considers me to be an artist. Brent was so convincing that even I almost believe it to be true! Speaking of artists, I wanted to provide a little aside to my sour soliloquy from last night (as well as a teensy follow-up). While I haven't ever been talented or lucky enough to have been involved in the world of Star Wars comic books, a young man, whom I once took under my wing, has. Long before he was one of the hottest properties in comics, Blankets creator and super-talent Craig Thompson was literally a starving artist. Through Tim Seeley, I came to know, then attempted to help, Craig along his path toward super-stardom. My minor contributions to his career included giving him a section of the WOMP table at a few comics conventions, introducing him to comics people (like Maggie Thompson), feeding him, encouraging him, and just being in his corner. From my conversations with him when I saw him last, I've gathered that he has forgotten most of that...which is fine. I'm still in his corner, and I always will be. That's why I was so excited to find out that Craig had provided a comic book story to Star Wars Tales #5 in 2000. Entitled What They Called Me, it's a cute story about a pompous rich vacationer who enjoys "exploring" uncivilized worlds...and, in so doing, disrespectfully and absentmindedly destroying those worlds with his littering, meddling, and general disregard for anything but himself. In spite of this, he is absolutely convinced that he is nearly a savior to these places, bringing the wonders of technology and consumerism to the backward aliens. He visits Endor's forest moon, and, after nearly singlehandedly bringing down Ewok society, the Ewoks find a way to get rid of him, sending him off with a sack of Gundar droppings (which he mistakes for a snack treat) and a terminally damaged space craft. It's a great fun story, especially the part where he tries to force the Ewoks to clothe their "shame" with traditional white jockey shorts. Hee hee! Anyhoo, even though I didn't have anything to do with it, I can't help feeling proud anyway. Oh, and, before I go, I have that teensy follow-up for you: when I wrote about "Dave" last night, I may actually have been talking about someone else. While "Dave" clearly wrote the posted review, and I did converse with him several times, it may have been someone else entirely who, via the auctions mentioned in Dave's post, contacted me about the Mengus web-comic thing. I should really make an attempt to remember, or research, the exact "who" of the story, but, after I worked so hard on that artwork and then heard nothing in reply after I sent it, I actually sort of tried to forget the whole thing. Well, I guess that's the beauty of the Internet. Somehow, someday, I will get a message from someone who will clear the whole thing up for me. Thanks in advance, web-friend from the future! Here's your Star Wars Comic Book Character of The Day - Qymaen jai Sheelal (General Grievous)!
May 26 - Hello, my young Padawans. As we are nearing the end of this month of discussing Star Wars, and Star Wars comic books, it has reminded me of an unfortunate "mini Star Wars chapter" from my own pathetic attempts to be...or pretend to be...an artist. Let me try to set the stage. Being a seventeenth-rate wannabe hack (which I am) is a bit like being the ugliest kid in class (which I was). Most of the time, I can contentedly wander through life, oblivious to my inadequacies. On other occasions, it's all I can do to muster the strength to get out of bed when I am reminded of just how inadequate I am when compared to others. Heck, I'm not even the best cartoonist at my dread "real" job...and I have only five co-workers! Still, for whatever reason (low I.Q.?), I continue to think that I may improve and, given an opportunity, contribute in some "artistic" way to the world at large. I never will, of course, as I am doomed to a "career" of increasing mediocrity and sad failure, but there have been a few moments when I have come oh, so close. My recent association with the works and worlds of L. Frank Baum, for example, is probably the best for which I could ever hope...and yet...and yet it is just the most successful of my many attempts to become part of something bigger. Way back in January of 2002, I innocently placed a little drawing of a Jawa, a larger drawing of Tessek and Zutton, and another of a faceless robot cop from THX-1138, on eBay. I was pleasantly surprised to not only sell them, but have them reviewed quite favorably by "Dave," someone who had something to do with the popular Star Wars collectors' fansite, rebelscum.com! He posted this entry under...
eBay Today: Fan Art
Posted by Dave on January 26, 2002 at 01:05 AM CST:
Today we introduce our readers to the talent behind the independent comic ‘The Adventures of Monkey’. His name is John Mundt, and man is his art great! His lines are more than just clean and confident, they ably do what few other illustrations can: capture the life of the characters in the Star Wars universe. With talent like this, it may not take long for this artist to turn the right heads.
Wow! Flattered beyond words (and amazed at the 300-plus hits that the auctions received), I struck up a bit of a quick "friendship" with Dave. He even let me in on a project on which he had been working. It was his own web-comic, set in the Star Wars Galaxy, that featured a nasty, cyclopean bounty hunter named Mengus. As we exchanged messages, he hinted that he'd love to have a "Mundt original" of this character, even hinting that such a thing might lead to...well, who knows what? I was only too happy to oblige, producing a mini-masterpiece of character and design. I shipped it off, envisioning a growing connection to the outermost fringes of the world of Star Wars. But nothing happened. Nothing. I never even heard whether the piece made it to Dave or not. Now, over five years later, the whole thing reads like a broken record of the rest of my cartooning "career." Time and time and time again, I've gone through this same sort of cycle with everything from Disneyland and Hallmark, to Archie Comics and my own syndicated John Woe comic strip. Often close, but never a cigar. It's as if I imagine marrying every pretty girl who happens to smile at me...which makes sense, because that's pretty close to what I did for most of my teen years. Career-wise, I can't help envisioning incredible luck or success, even when given only the most miniscule of encouragements...and miniscule encouragements are all I get. To be fair, some of these sorts of things actually did come true. Besides the Oz stuff, I actually was a student of the Joe Kubert School, I really did provide background inks for Marvel Comics Presents #131, I have self-published my own comic book series (which I created from top to bottom), and I truly have been an unofficial mentor to several of today's comics pros. I am proud of these, and other, accomplishments, but my mind still drifts back to daydreams of daily drawing bounty hunters and Droids and crazy new alien races. That dream, like so many others, may never come true, but it was fun just dreaming it. Tomorrow, I hope to tell you about a little addendum to this story. Until then, here is your Star Wars Comic Book Character of The Day - IG-88!