2015
01.25

COVER 19

COPRA #19 is here and it’s ready to kick off the latest story arc which features a new pack of weirdo assassins and impending doomsday! I know you missed them, so the Copra crew is back — but not before they have to go up against ASESINOS. Here’s a preview:

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Also in this issue, a Copra story serialized on the back covers of this arc, written & painted by none other than the mighty DIETER VDO! If you don’t know his work, fix that problem right this second; it is amazing, all of it. I am honored to have him draw some bizarro brutality for Copra.

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For those subscribers who put in their orders within the first few days, they’ll be getting a VITAS print, hand stamped from this carved out husk:

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I have to thank those who have stuck by the book since day one, but I also commend those who tried out the series by ordering the first collection, ROUND ONE, published by Bergen Street Comics Press. Coming soon’s the follow up, ROUND TWO. Please keep your eyes peeled for that!

This past year has been amazing in terms of new readers hopping on board, especially with the series making a few “Best Of” lists this past year:

B E S T   O F  2 0 1 4

A.V. Club

Entertainment Weekly

Comic Book

This Is Infamous

Journeys In Darkness and Light

Comicosity

Panel Patter

Comiks Debris

Panels

Floating World (store)

The Newest Rant

Comic Books Are Burning In Hell 

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The COPRA issues have made it to a few more stores than last year, too. I appreciate these fine establishments’ interest in stocking these comics, so make sure to support them!

Bergen St. Comics (Brooklyn, NY)

Floating World (Portland, OR)

Zanadu Comics (Seattle WA)

Chicago Comics (Chicago, IL)

Big Planet Comics (Washington, DC)

Mission: Comics & Art (San Francisco CA)

The Secret Headquarters (Los Angeles, CA)

Bridge City Comics (Portland, OR)

Chapel Hill Comics (Chapel Hill, NC)

Locust Moon Comics (Philadelphia, PA)

Third Eye Comics (Annapolis, MA)

Collectors Corner (Baltimore, MD)

Velocity Comics (Richmond, VA)

Desert Island (Brooklyn, NY)

Escape Pod Comics (Huntington, NY)

Copacetic Comics (Pittsburgh, PA)

Beguiling Books & Art (Toronto, Ontario, CAN)

Strange Adventures (Halifax, Nova Scotia , CAN)

Orbital Comics (London, UK)

There’s also been a bunch of great COPRA fan art, something which I am always in awe of (below, Raymond Salvador):

FAN ART Raymond Salvador

Here’s a Gracie piece by Jaimie C. Filer. I can’t get enough of these!

Gracie by Filer

So here it is – 2015. I’m ready to attack the New Year with new issues and new adventures. Full steam ahead – I’m very excited to get these stories out to you, page by page, month by month. Check in and check it out, starting with a great jumping on point: COPRA #19!

2015
01.14

Fiffe Ultimates Crew

This is it! The end of the line. The final issue of the All-New Ultimates 12 part series hits the stands today!

Before I get deep into it, thank you all for supporting this book.  Please check out this full list of everyone who worked on the book (with additional art)!

The creator credits for all the characters we used are another monster altogether.

Spider-Man is a Steve Ditko/Stan Lee creation — everybody and their grandma should know that. But in this universe, Spider-Man’s alter ego is Miles Morales instead of Peter Parker. Miles was created by Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli.

Miles

BendisDavid Marquez later re-imagined Cloak & Dagger, originally created by Bill Mantlo & Ed Hannigan

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… as well as the Taskmaster (a David Michelinie George Pérez creation).

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Along with David LaFuente, Bendis also created Bombshell,  the young hothead of the team.

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Kitty Pryde, a Chris Claremont & John Byrne classic, was  redesigned/repurposed specifically for the Ultimate Universe by the Mark Millar & Adam Kubert.

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Then there’s Jessica Drew, thought up by Archie Goodwin and Marie Severin back in the day (cover by Joe Sinnott).

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Her “Ultimate” alter ego, Spider-Woman, was up for a redesign — a complete makeover. Here’s her Ultimate look (designed by Mark Bagley).

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Since I’m a sucker for this sleek Black Widow costume (a character created by Stan Lee & Don Heck but redesigned by Frank Miller & drawn by Kevin Nowlan below), I thought Drew would take up that mantle nicely.

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I’ve always liked that Grant Morrison threw jackets on tons of his characters (Zenith, Animal Man, Robotman, the New X-Men) – its his go-to design, really – and I thought it would be a good last touch for Drew’s makeover.

Guess who else makes a cameo? Miles’ best pal Ganke Lee (another Bendis/Pichelli character)…

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… and Mark MillarCarlos Pacheco’s Monica Chang (who appears in the final issue before the events in Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #3 — I told you this was its own little world, sorta)!

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On to the bad guys! From here on out, you’ll be seeing the characters I personally picked out to carry these stories. It’s going to range from a few familiar faces to some deep cuts (some deeper than others). Since a good chunk of the Ultimate Universe was wiped out prior to All-New Ultimates (see Ultimatum & Cataclysm), I had to look far and wide within the original Marvel Universe (Earth 616 to you, pal) in order to come up with a cast that I could give the “Ultimate” treatment to (with some mammoth help from series artist Amilcar Pinna and later on Giannis Milonogiannis). You don’t even wanna see the notes for these (but you can see some of the sketches I made here or in the first trade collection: Power For Power). Anyway, enough plugs! Here’s the list (with original creator credits):

Crossbones (Mark Gruenwald & Kieron Dwyer) – I would love every time this guy showed up to beat the crap out of people, sometimes Captain America himself.

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The Serpent Society (Gruenwald & Paul Neary), a team consisting of villains from separate sources, is who I based my Serpent Skulls gang on. Roll call:

Diamondback (Gruenwald & Neary) – She eventually turned a new leaf.

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Sidewinder (Gruenwald & Ralph Macchio) – Original SS team leader.

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King Cobra (Lee & Heck) – SS usurper. This Heck version rules.

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Death Adder (Gruenwald, Pérez & Macchio) – I mostly know him as the guy who got into the wrong cab.

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Anaconda (Gruenwald, Pérez & Macchio) – She gives the best hugs.

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Black Racer (Gruenwald & Tom Morgan) – Second wave SS member, first official heist was a Vegas casino. Haha, I know stuff.

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Arnie & Savage Fin (Erik Larsen) – Both were immediately killed in their 1st appearance. (Fin’s a parody character, too. Guess who?)

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So that takes care of the main gang of fluorescent street toughs. Actually, there were more rival gangs that didn’t have enough stage time, but managed to make a gang war double page spread.

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Who were those gangs mentioned above based on? Well, since you asked…

Zodiac (Roy Thomas & Sal Buscema):

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Wolfpack (Larry Hama & Ron Wilson):

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Nasty Boys (Peter David & Larry Stroman):

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Supreme Soviets (Gruendwald & Dwyer):

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Okay, so that takes care of the gangs. But what about the other villains?

Scourge (Gruenwald & John Byrne) – This is my man. I made him into a Bernie Goetz/high school janitor and you know, he’s a sort of custodian of the Marvel Universe. His thing is to unconditionally mow down any costumed villain. The lamer they are the sweeter the kill.

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He was designed to clean house. His first appearance was told by Denny O’Neil and THE Luke McDonnell, but don’t let that fool you; this was Gruenwald’s baby.

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Styx & Stone (Michelinie & Todd McFarlane) – McFarlane issues were difficult to find/afford back in the day, so my introduction was in the Larsen issues of ASM as they were coming out.

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Agent Crock (Anne Nocenti & Keith Giffen) – From the one issue of Daredevil that Giffen drew, how could I ignore this fella?

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Vermin (J.M. DeMatteis & Mike Zeck) – The secondary villain in “Kraven’s Last Hunt”. Giannis beefed him up a little in issue #7.

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Femme Fatales  (Michelinie & Larsen) – More great characters from the super fun Larsen run.

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Watchdogs  (Gruenwald & Tom Morgan) – The original group weren’t, er… expressly racist. They’re moral crusaders and censorship advocates who happen to be terrorists. I mostly like them due to one of the greatest comic book fight scenes of all time, courtesy of Kieron Dwyer.

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Ecstasy  (Peter B. Gillis & Chris Warner) – This French drug kingpin eventually gained Cloak himself as a power. Sexy times, especially when the art chores fell to Mike Vosburg (below).

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Mr. Jip (Austin & Bret Blevins) – My aim was to have Jip be the Tetsuo of the story (a gross, rampaging out-of-control monster). Blevins is great, but this Kevin Nowlan version is killer.

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Now on to the cops and the rest of the supporting members — home stretch!

Brigid O’Reilly (Mantlo & Rick Leonardi) – I love this character. I wish she hand’t turned into Mayhem – she was perfect the way she was.

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If anything, I wanted to turn her into more of a P.I., a Dakota North type of character. I’m super happy I got to work on her, though.

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Terry Schreck/Terror Inc. (D.G. Chichester, Margaret Clark & Klaus Janson) – Another character I really like, especially when drawn by the mighty Jorge Zaffino.

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Vernon Brooks  (Mike Baron & Whilce Portacio) – This guy was a high school teacher before he joined the Punisher cause (when the Punisher was an undercover substitute teacher – holy crap, that was a good comic). Vernon quickly bailed.

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Paul Dennis/the Crippler (Gregory Wright & Ron Garney) – He eventually joined Silver Sable’s Wild Pack, but I know him as the S&M merc in the Von Strucker Gambit.

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Duc No Trahn/Bengal (Fabian Nicieza & Ron Lim) – Bengal was a New Warriors staple, but I first saw him in a Daredevil fill in issue. Great Lim fight issue.

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Bart Rozum (Dwayne McDuffie & Ernie Colón) – From one of my favorite titles by a couple of my favorite creators. I almost felt dirty using Bart the way I did. I love Damage Control.

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Fat Boys (Anne Nocenti & Arthur Adams) : Eightball, Butch and Ralf…

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Let’s not forget Darla!

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Alexander Pierce (Bob Harras & Neary) dropped in for a single panel, too, not as a Shield agent/accountant but as Jessica Drew’s doctor .

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So yeah, welcome to the Year of the Deep Cut. Making this comic has been significant to me, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it without having to know all of this archival minutiae — that was just part of the fun in “research”.  Where else was I gonna get the chance to sneak this little Steve Gerber creation in?

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You deserve a No-Prize if you even know who that is! (Picking up where we last saw him as written by Gerber, otherwise it’s non-canonical. Okay, fine, I’ll stop, I’ll stop.)

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Above: an agent of the Time Variance Authority (a.k.a. Mark Gruenwald) as conceived of and drawn by Walt Simonson, but really the owner of Gruenwald’s Bodega in the series’ first and final issues.

There you have it. The random players from all corners of the Marvel Universe, brought forth to make the All-New Ultimates world the diverse and unique place it is. So many creators, their contributions spanning several generations and landing in our humble sandbox.

It was a pleasure working on this book. Sure it was fun digging up obscure characters, but the chance to tell these stories and the creative team I told them with… that’s what made this project special to me.

–Fiffe

2014
11.27

SUB 15

COPRA SUBSCRIPTIONS 2015 are now live and on sale! The subscription guarantees you a copy of every COPRA issue before they’re long gone.

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This is a 6 issue subscription for COPRA #s 19 – 24, which will be mailed out in January. Shipping costs are usually as low as possible, but all subscribers will save a few extra dollars on top of that. International orders welcome!

COPRA 2015 solo.B

Every subscription order that is placed from now, Friday Nov. 28th, to Monday Dec. 1st will receive a free, handmade screen print of our man VITAS — roughly 5 x 6, I gotta cut it up first! Supplies are limited, and you won’t be able to find it anywhere else. It’ll be made specifically for those who subscribe within this weekend sale.

COPRA 2015 solo.C

This next batch will reunite the team, get back to the hunt, tie up some loose ends, usher in new crews, and complicate things for our friends in COPRA. It’ll be six intense issues. COPRA will also run a back up feature by one of my favorite cartoonists (more on that soon!) — what else can I say? It’s going to be killer.

Also on sale for the holiday weekend: original comic book pages and all the ZEGAS & COPRA comics you’ll need. Some issue are mighty close to being sold out, by the way. Don’t miss out on the raw material for “COPRA Round Three“!

Thanks for a great year, gang! Your support and enthusiasm never fails to get me pumped for more comics making. This next year is gonna be even better with new stories & characters, awesome surprises and crazy projects all on the horizon.

See you next year — and happy holidays!

2014
11.24

Original Art Sale!

NU Sketches 1

For the holidays, I’ve posted a few pieces of original art for sale, including: prints, illustrations, all of my Captain Victory pages, and a set of character sketches/notes for the All-New Ultimates project for Marvel. Take a closer look at those…

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All this and more over at our Whitehaus/Copra Press Etsy store!

2014
11.03

Copra_RoundTwo-2

 C O M I C S !

COPRA Round Two will be released January 2015 and will be available for PRE-ORDER really soon!

C O N V E N T I O N !

Next Saturday November 8th I’ll be at Comic Arts Brooklyn. I will have tons of comics on hand: COPRA Round OneCOPRA issues, and the complete ZEGAS set of comics. Get them all there at TABLE D27.

I N T E R V I E W S !

Check out the Comics Therapy podcast to listen to me ramble from the couch. Oh, yeah, and on CBR, as well!

2014
10.31

B O W M A N

BOWMAN

I drew a BOWMAN pin up for Pat Aulisio’s forthcoming collection. Pat runs Yeah Dude Comics.

2014
10.29

I was interviewed at The Comics Journal.

Back Cover

The image above is the original art for the back cover puzzle piece that ran in the original first 12 issues (it’s officially part of the original art community).

Anyway, about the interview. I cover everything, but I put a special spotlight on this impressionable comic:

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Can’t get enough of my jabbering? You’re in luck. I was part of this massive oral history regarding a cultural relic: the trading card. Check out The Secret Origins & Lasting Impact of the Marvel Universe Cards, if only to at least to read Arthur Adams’ words.

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2014
10.26

Copra Bullet Montage

After last year’s first 12 issues of Copra, I dedicated the subsequent issues to some team members. Thirteen to Eighteen, six comics. You can find them all here, so get them now while supplies last! I’ve always wanted to say that.

But no, really… if those first 12 are any indication, these comics will remain out of pint until Round Three (and that may be a while). Here’s a handy rundown list, accompanied by little heads.

ROLL CALL

table

Don’t delay. Operators are standing by.

Okay, I’ll stop.

–Fiffe

2014
10.15

ZEGAS is back in print and available again! This is the title that started my self-publishing operation, Copra Press, and set the path for subsequent projects (Deathzone! & Copra). I’m still very proud of these comics and I couldn’t let them remain out of print much longer.

PACK B

If you’ve never read ZEGAS before, here’s your chance to catch up on all three issues: the ZEGAS PACK. If you’ve managed to get an issue here or an issue there, you can also pick and choose which one you need individually: Issues ONE, TWO, or ZERO!

PACK C

PACK D

The print run is still super limited, so get them now while they last!

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EXTRA: My contribution to Zainab Akhtar’s Comics Shelfie is up, over at her Comics & Cola blog.

Fiffe Shelfie 0. Main

2014
10.12

Copra #18 has arrived! it’s the Xenia issue, the magic issue, the losing your grip on reality which is inconvenient for everybody because of your godlike powers issue.

It’s also the issue that brings this arc to a close. I’ve been focusing on key members of Copra issue by issue, and this Xenia story winds it all down while also setting up the next arc.

Cover 18 A

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That was a small sampler of my favorite issue yet. And while I’m taking a hiatus between 6 issue story arcs, I can’t wait to jump back on and get into the reformed Copra team’s new adventures.

Xenia Bullet

We’ll be back before you realize we were gone, but NOW – right this very second – get on board with Copra #18!

-Fiffe

P.S. Zegas is back as well! More on that soon…