Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Very Special Level of Hell

A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.

Unfortunate News

Fuck twilight

Friday, November 20, 2009

Comics of the Decade

So, we are a month or so away from a new decade. I asked myself, what have been some of the best comics of the past decade? Its almost unfair to ask someone to compile such a list. I've been reading comics for about 7 years now, and I know that my list would be incomplete and bias. I couldn't possibly account for European or Asian comics, but I have done my best to make a good list. Here are my personal top 10 comics of the decade

10. The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is everything you would want in a zombie comic. Danger is always creeping, no character is safe from death or insanity, and no one is all that likable. Like all great zombie stories, the emphasis is on the human condition in the event of chaos. This series is brutal and is like crack. An absolute page turner. One of my favorite scenes is when you find out who the Walking Dead are. Go ahead and get yourself the compendium.

9. Fables

I read this only recently, but most certainly wanted to include it in this list. I don't think I ever found Fables to be really imaginative and the first two volumes didn't convince me that it was at the level of quality I had been told of. I only bought the first two volumes, but one of my friends let me borrow some other volumes and now I've read up to issue 75. Having all of the fantasy literary characters in one story is nothing new, but Im not certain it has been done this well. Few comics have characters with this much depth and evolution. Prince Charming goes from a womanizer to heroic and the change feels so natural. The Frog Prince and Boy Blue go through trials and tribulations I will read over and over. Fables is here because of its superb characterization.

8. Daredevil

I actually haven't read all of Bendis's run on Daredevil, but one arc convinced me to have DD on the list. Out. Basically, Daredevil's identity is released to the public in a newspaper. Bendis's roots in crime noir shine in this book, and the legal battle over an unlucky superhero who seemingly commited a crime is an excellent example of Bendis playing to his own strengths. Bendis puts DD through a storm of problems and the result is magnificent. This comic is motherfucking tense and by the end, you completely understand who Daredevil and Matt Murdock are. Combined with Maleev's down and gritty art, there is no denying its place.

7. New X-Men
Imaginative and gripping, Grant Morrison's X-Men is everything X-Men needed to be to become the best comic of its time. The drama was turned up a notch, the concepts were high, the villains terrifying, and the costumes gone in favor of black leather. This run could have easily been the best run of the decade and the best X-Men run ever. So why isn't this up higher on the list? The art ranges from good to awfully rushed. Frank Quitely can't do a monthly comic to save his life so when he fell behind, Ethan van Sciver as brought in as a fill in either. Too bad Ethan van Sciver is also a slow artist because they also had to bring in Igor Kordey to do some very very quick work. All three are good artists. Quitely is a top 5 artist, van Sciver is the definition of a detailing superhero comic book artist, and Kordey is good on his own. Half of New X-Men should be redrawn seeing how hastily some of it was drawn. The story also began to drop in quality when Marc Silvestri came along. Unfortunately, by the end, New X-Men was a paler version of its earlier self. Still, "E is for Extinction" and "Riot at Xavier's" are two of the best X-Men arcs of all time.

6. Astonishing X-Men
While Grant Morrison deconstructed X-Men in a way, Whedon built them back up in their classic manner. Astonishing X-Men is one big love letter to the classic Claremont and Byrne days. The spotlight of the series is on Kitty Pride as she returns to the team, and if theres one thing Whedon does better than nearly all other writers is his ability to write female characters. John Cassaday draws the X-Men more human than super and it works really well when the focus is on Kitty. The dialogue is always spot and it shines most when it is between Kitty Pryde and the resurrected Colossus. Bringing characters back from the dead has always been a tricky situation with many problems often ignored, but it is handled deftly here. Whedon takes his time on the impact of the return of Colossus and how it changes relationships, most notably between Kitty and Peter. This is the perfect X-Men book with a perfect, bittersweet ending.

5. Ultimate Spider-Man
Possibly the most consistent comic of the decade. Bendis, Bagley and Immonen tell the tale of the teenage Spider-Man. The angst, the girls, the tragedy and insecurity of those early years all here. Bendis is often criticized for his dialogue, but coming from the mouths of teenagers here, it comes off pretty natural. 133 issues of being consistently one of the best 15 books month in and out. Possibly my favorite issue is #13, where Peter decides to tell MJ he is Spider-Man. Issues like that make USM for me.

4. All Star Superman

Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely are the best writer and artist duo in comics. Here, they take all that is awesome about Superman and make it shine. Everything that should be about Superman should be here. Up there with "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" and Action Comics 775 as one of the best Superman stories ever.

3. Planetary
Planetary has probably the coolest and best premise of all comics this decade. Three archeologists uncover the secret fantastical history of the world. Ellis not only delivers on the premise but does even more. Planetary also features the best covers of the decade. Cassaday has an excellent design sense and his interior work never disappoints. A must read for anybody who likes comics no matter the taste.

2. The Ultimates
Essentially the opposite of what All Star Superman is, Ultimates is what the Avengers would be if they were much more realistic and all assholes. No book has ever felt bigger or badder than this one. Pretty much the best thing Mark Millar has ever written, and his anti American undertones rub some readers the wrong way, but I personally always found it well done. There are so many parts that are so badass I can't kick just pick five to name. At sometimes crushing ("You shouldn't have made me feel so small, Jan") and at others ridiculous ("Surrender? Surrender? You think this letter on my head stands for France?), Ultimates delivers like few comics ever have. Not only does it deliver in plot and characterization, but it is one of the best looking comics of the past 20 years. Bryan Hitch was born to do this comic. Ultimates #5 and Ultimates 2 #13 are probably on par with Miracleman #15 for the most epically drawn comics in existence.

1. Y the Last Man
I had a lot of trouble deciding where all these comics should be ranked except for Y the Last Man. No comic from this decade has quite gripped me as Y the Last Man did. I think I stayed up all night reading all the issues I could once I got a hold of the series. Impossible to put down. Few things, comics or otherwise, have left me so satisfied. If you haven't read it already, do that NOW.


Glee seems to be the hot new thing, so I used it. I've watched it once but thats it. Also, Weeaboo Girl is missing....


I feel so proud of myself for thinking up "weeababy." Im sure someone else has thought of it before, but I don't care. It's mine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Keep them on

Weeaboo Girl is back. Thats right. I have plans for her.

Monday, November 9, 2009


A bit rushed when I drew it so Im mildly disappointed in how it turned out. Still, gets me out of the spot Connor Shea put me in!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Like a trainwreck

Its funny how ideas can come back around and be useful. I've had an idea for months in which a girl had such a muffintop that it created shade. We've been short some comics lately at the DT Comics Page and Carolynn asked me to make a bigger comic. Thats an offer I could never turn down. I still wanted to only do a three panel comic so vertically long panels would be used. Thinking of a joke that could make use of such panels, I remembered the muffintop idea. I had to reshape it, but it worked out well. The vertical panels allowed for the last image to include the fattiness of the girl, the background, and the dialogue with no problem.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Not a funny comic, but one I enjoyed doing.

Halloween Treats

So, every Halloween and April Fools, the Daily Texan comics page has a little event we call Switcheroo. Basically, one comics artist/team teams up switches comics with another. In my case, I decided to switched up Connor Shea, artist of Shea's Rebellion (

Connor doesn't really have a small set of character he sticks with like I do but he did have some recurring characters and had a string of pie jokes where he only used two characters. I decided to have my own pie joke in a style that was very like his.

This joke actually came about from thinking about the meat pies from Sweeney Todd and wondering if I could incorporate into the comic. I didn't find a way but my mind wandered into the idea that Jesus could have been made into a meat pie, and that after three days he would resurrect. I found the idea funny enough and easy enough to incorporate it into the comic.

Here is Connor's comic btw:

Now I have to deal with an Aids-ridden John. Thanks Connor!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Parties

One Halloween night, a few years ago, I was walking down the street headed off somewhere when I saw a guy dressed up as Quailman from childhood-fave cartoon Doug. What a great idea for a costume I thought. I went to some party or some downtown thing when I saw two or three more Quailman costumes. Hah. That was the inspiration for this comic.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


One of the first things I ever came up with as I started doing John Thorn was a joke about a japanese person or an anime fan being drawn as an anime character. I guess it was about time to actually use that idea in combination with my general dislike of annoying weeaboos. This comic is the result

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not just a 5th year senior

I wanna change my style a bit. Im getting bored drawing nothing but circles for eyes. So most likely, you will see me draw normal eyes from now on

One of those tests...

We've all had tests that have raped us. Its not a pleasant experience

Thursday, October 8, 2009

ACL Pt 2

I would let Dave Grohl have His way with me. He's a damn awesome man and Them Crooked Vultures is the newest thing that proves it.

Austin City Limits

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another Daily Texan Illustration

This one is a bit different from the one published. Obviously the colors are brighter here than in the paper but the one published was also cropped down some. I dont like the girls hand but thats about it for this piece. Its a generally good piece

Meticulous notes

Peter Pan

Nothing much to say about this. John is still an adolescent at heart and will likely never change


This comic comes out of my boredom with the style of these comics. I need to break the style from time to time. Thats why the fist panel looks so different than almost every other John Thorn panel. I thought I would make it so that all media in the John Thorn world looks closer to this world than John Thorn's world. Also, I like doing my comics in Spanish.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Viva Mexico Cabrones

Viva Mexico. Hice este comic con Raquel y Jonathan de Seis Dolares, Porfavor. Jonathan es mexicano tambien y queria hacer un comic en espanol juntos. Este dia fue una oportunidad para hacer esto. Feliz dia de independecia

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Celebrations in the Night

Happy Birthday John Thorn. Its not really his birthday in any sense. I just decided I wanted to do a happy birthday comic and so John is now 21. I didn't wanna do another alcohol centric comic even if it would be really appropriate.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Other Daily Texan Illustrations

Occasionally, I get commissioned to do some illustrations for the DT. I figured you guys might like to see them.

its not just a damn game

Generally, I try to be funny to a wide university audience, but I had my fantasy draft yesterday so I thought I would do one for my fellow fantasy football brethren.

Unconquerable Obstacles

Sometimes I find myself having to use one of those old sharpeners when I've forgotten to sharpen my dull dull pencils before a test. They are awful.

Spanish Boys

Theres been so many people I've known who go abroad and break up with their boyfriend when they get back. I just had to do a comic about it

The Fiftieth is the Sweetest

Ok, finally, here it is. Presented to blog-readers late. Theres much I could say at this point, but Ill keep it short. I have had much fun, relative success and frustration creating these comics and Im glad that I now have a small library of work with one singular premise.

Freshman Circus

So I was actually unable to print my 50th John Thorn during the summer due to space concerns and the comics fight, so I asked Carolynn to print it the first day of class. However, the Daily Texan does print before classes start meaning I still needed to turn in something anyway. Necessity is the mother of invention and so was born "Freshman Circus," my hate letter to freshman. Originally a three parter, it turned into only a two parter. However, it is one of those comics that is essentially a page so it is not small. I hope you guys enjoy the melodramatic stylings of it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Busy Busy Times

I apologize to all three people that read this blog for not posting any new material. Things have been hectic these last few weeks. I have now done my 50th john thorn but I do not have the image here at my place, so I can not put it up until I get back to the Daily Texan office. However, I do have many things to talk about! Im essentially gonna have to copy what 6dollarsplease of has done in this summary of what has happened. May I present to you, the great Comics Fight 2009!

So, let us preface this event with an explanation. Whenever I first met the imaginative Jonathan and Rachel (creators of 6dollarsplease) at the comics page orientation for the summer, they brought up an event they had in mind for the page. They wanted to have a fight on the comics page. In my mind, I imagined a free for all brawl with panels breaking between comics and just madness. Jonathan had a grander scope in mind but it would not be realized until later. The first summer session went by and things went great. The comics page had been looking good, and I imagine has regained some past luster. Comics like 6 dollars, please, o shea's rebellion and bottlecaps were all well crafted and humorous with unique voices. I certainly felt we had validated our space in the Daily Texan.

At a party with a majority of the comics artists, we set a date when we would meet so we could do the comics fight. But trouble brew, the editors had decided to cut some of our space from the page away. No real problem. We understand we are considered a luxury and quite expendable, and if space is scarce, then we must give up our space. However, the first time it happened. A large, large picture of a hamburger replace most of it. Now, I dont mean to bash the article, the photographer, or the editors but I doubt a large, large picture was really all that necessary. What especially angered me was that my own comic had suffered. I had put in a lot of work to create "My Night," and whether you think it is funny or not, it is hard to say it is not a well crafted comic. So, my comic was displaced and put away for later use.

In the meanwhile, I had figured that my next comic, my 50th john thorn, had to be special. I needed space to make this one my best, at least on a technical level, and certainly an inventive one and possibly trippy one. Im not sure how much space it actually takes up, but it would be better defined as a comic page rather than a comic strip. I think it may take up the space of 4 or 5 regular comic strips. But thanks to continued space cuts, it was not printed during this summer. I was not the only angered one. When you, as a group, are told you must make room for pictures of hamburgers and iphones, then you cannot help but feel slighted and disrespected.

I had planned to make a comic addressing the space eating and I convinced Jonathan and Rachel to do a collaboration. The comic:

We were not sure how this would be taken by editorial. But it passed without complaint from them. We were not the only ones that made comics in response to the space eating. Jeremy Johnson, creator of Hell, Inc and Invertebrate Junction, made these two.

And then there was this, Jeremy's pseudo attack on the paper.

Alex's The Devil You Know, also reacted.

We set up a teaser and some creators set up the fight

And we were off! The page had fought back and we were now going to do the comics fight with conviction. I do not think we had in mind what the fight would be over, but now we did. The comics were going to address their place in the Daily Texan. Things went smoothly when we explained what we wanted to do with one editor and we had to do a little more tap dancing with another. They are the ones in power, after all, and we could not just do whatever we wanted. In the end, we were given the go ahead to do the fight. I think some of that lies with what happened that same day we got the go ahead.

I was in the office with Carolynn, Rachel and Jonathan, fleshing out some of the fight. We explained to one of the editors what we wanted to do, and that was it for that bit of time. Some dozens of minutes later, we are approached by one of the editors and he asked if we would do some illustrations. This isn't something thats new. I've done some illustrations for the life and arts page and editorial cartoons, Carolynn did weekly illustrations for "Hump Day," and Rachel had just done an Andy Warhol illustration the day before for the paper. The article which our illustrations would accompany was an article over John Hughes, who had just passed away that day or the day before. So, five illustrations were commissioned and we accepted the task. Carolynn would do one, Rachel would do two, and I would do two. Normally, we get notification with enough time to complete the task comfortably, but since the article must have been just assembled, the idea to have commissioned illustrations were given out later than usual. Not only that, but these illustrations were to be done in color. We were all working until past midnight to get those drawings done in a race against deadline. I think the end result earned us some respect as artists that we had not had before. We turned in quality work before deadline when the editor knew we were working hard. And I think we owe some of our backing to that day.

So began our ambitious project the next day. We assembled the troops to outline and script the first portion of the fight that Friday. If I recall correctly, those that were there in the first meeting were Carolynn (comics editor), Jonathan($6dp), Rachel ($6dp), Alex Diamond (The Devil You Know), NK Kim(untitled), Michael Bowman (Raj and Boris), Dom Jursic (Bottlecaps), Gabe Alvarez (Ben the Box Boy), Jeremy Johnson (Invertebrate Junction) and myself. Rachel, Jonathan, Amelia Giller (Mipsters) and I met again the next day to out line the latter portion of the fight. We sent out assignments to artists, and on Sunday, we would put the page together.

We were so not prepared for this at first. We had not envisioned the amount of work photoshopping all those characters together. We made it work, but it took a lot out of us. Although I was very happy that we had completed the first part of this project, I was not satisfied

We would be better the next day, but coupled with finals and too much stress, we were at times overwhelmed and tired by this undertaking. Carolynn, Jonathan, Rachel, and I stayed late to finish the initial pages. We wouldn't get home until past midnight on some nights. However, day two was so much better in quality than the first that I did not mind. I felt like we just hitting our stride in production.

Then came the third day. When the project was beginning, I begged to do a big splash panel that allowed me to draw nearly everyones character in one big fight. However, when it came to crunch time, I was not sure if I was going to be able to do it. It was finals week, I had family in town, and my sister's birthday was the next day meaning I had to Thursday's work Tuesday as well as Wednesday. Carolynn pushed me to do the splash panel and so I caved. I would do the big fight and would only pencil my work for Tuesday trusting Rachel to ink my work. It came out great, and in my opinion, this page came out the best out of all them.

Nam Nguyen, creator of Psychobevo, a definite favorite amongst many, was not working the comics page during the summer but we had wanted to use his character in our story, and he graciously allowed us to use his baby. Now, if you have ever read Psychobevo, you know it to be awesome madness. I craved the chance to give it my own sleek bryan hitch-influenced style. I was happy to receive the work, and I crafted a sleek, fearsome Psychobevo with a tower for a sword

Unfortunately, the day it was all put together, Rachel and I were missing so the office was lacking in manpower and it seems rushed and somewhat jumbled at times. I hope to personally rework some of it.

The fifth day was pretty calm in comparison. Jeremy had taken the time and drive to essentially do the whole page. He only asked that we send in to him dead bodies and spectator characters. Ryohei Yatsu (Summer Job Chronicles) came into the office and supplied many props and items to be scattered over the page. I cannot thank Jeremy enough for doing all that work. He saved us so much headache. His clean style gave the whole page a unified look not present in the previous days.

Ryohei added one more comic for a bit of summary on the whole thing. The page had gotten more attention than it had before (101x, the local rock station, covered us for a bit thanks to Alex) and we were given mostly free reign by the editors and we were even accommodated in the paper so we kept or space. I think we ended up getting what we wanted in the end.

Thank you list and credits

-Carolynn Calabrese (Comics editor, Hump Day)
-Michael Bowman (Raj & Boris)
-NaKyung Kim (Untitled)
-Rachel Weiss & Jonathan Barcelo-Iniguez (6 dollars, please)
-Domagoj Jursic (Bottlecaps)
-Edgar Vega (The summer school misadventures of John Thorn)
-Katie Smith (I'm too skinny)
-Amellia Giller (Mipsters)
-Ryohei Yatsu (The summer job chronicle)
-Monica Tseng (Run cupcake, RUN!)
-Gabe Alvarez (Ben the Box Boy)
-Jeremy Johnson (Hell INC., Invertebrate junction, The kitchen sink, META)
-Alex Diamond (The devil you know)
-Connor Shea (Shea's rebellion)

Special thanks to the following for lending their characters for the fight:
-Nam Nguyen (PsychoBEVO) . . . . Comics Fight Art by Edgar Vega
-Ryan Hailey (Memphis) . . . . Photoshoped from existing comics

Also, thanks to the Daily Texan and editors for letting us have this crazy event.