Art & Illustration Comics I Make

G. I. Joe Samples

G.I Joe sample pages I staged, pencilled & inked back in 2011. Featured: Roadblock gunning some Cobra Troopers, Snake Eyes vs Storm Shadow, Baroness & Destro being voyeurs.

Fiffe's G.I. JOE page 1 ink

Fiffe's G.I. JOE page 1 pencils

This was pre-Zegas, pre-self publishing, trying to work the work-for-hire hustle one last time before submitting to the notion that cartooning was gonna have to be a hobby. I set my scope to IDW thus (I’d worked for them before & they seemed to hire from a wide spectrum of ability that accommodated relative newcomers). Since G.I. Joe was the only title they published I was [very loosely] familiar with, I drew a sequence I thought would show my “strengths”. I don’t remember whether IDW rejected or flat out ignored my knocking on their door, but thank god they did either way! Not being able to land a job I knew I could crush was becoming my personal industry standard, but I wasn’t gonna let that dopey job get me down (no offense). Hence, Copra Press.

Fiffe's G.I. JOE page 2 ink

Fiffe's G.I. JOE page 2 pencil

Anyway, I think I would’ve had a great time drawing Snake Eyes kick the crap out of anything, actually (and c’mon: Baroness). But as it stands, these pages represent the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.

Art & Illustration Music Is Involved



The mighty NEWCLEUS, my contribution to the Hip Hop Family Tree vol. 2 by Ed PIskor. So glad I got the chance to honor one of my favorite acts of that era.

Here’s the reason why.

Bob Camp & Bill Wray have lent their talent to this outfit, so I’m definitely in good company!

"COPRA" Art & Illustration Los Press

Life After C O P R A


First off, the Copra T-Shirt that quickly sold out earlier in the month is available again – get it now while you can.

DRAWING: That up there is WIR paying Klaus back for the events in Copra #4, page 12, eagle eyed readers.

INTERVIEW 1: Factual Opinion featured a discussion – Consider My Weapons – between me and Sean Witzke, one of my favorite writers/thinkers about comics/movies. It was probably the most revealing I will be in a  long while, and if there’s one thing for you to pick from, please look to that talk.

INTERVIEW 2: Since I love to run my mouth, I chewed Chris Sims’ ear off for an exit interview.

INTERVIEW 3: Motormouth over here. This time over at Newsarama.

BEST OF: Timothy Callahan ranked Copra as #1 in his When Worlds Collide column over at Comic Book Resources. The write up – the consideration itself- made my week. Comics Alliance named Copra as Best Comic About Squads On Suicide Missions of 2013. Also of note: Tim HamiltonKrent AbleClark Burscough, and Nick Abadzis for the Forbidden Planet blog, Taylor Lilley for Comics BulletinGuy Copes for God Hates Geeks, Billy Henehan for Tuesday Night Movies, Abhay KhoslaMatt Seneca,  Alec BerryComic Book Resources, Graphic Novel Universe, the 9th BlogLocust MoonChapel Hill Comics, Velocity ComicsDen of Geeks!, Nothing But Comics! and Kotaku.

FAVES: What other cluster of similarly minded individuals can agree on Copra being worthy entertainment for a 2013 Favorites List? Comics Reporter readers, of course. That very site listed Copra as 1 of the 100 positives of 2013.

AWARD: Copra was nominated by the Broken Frontier Awards for Best Ongoing Series.

REVIEW: Charles Meier wrote a great, detailed overview of the entire series. So did Mark Crabtree.

PODCAST: the Mindless Ones were quite gracious in their discussion of Copra. It’s a real pleasure to know the joy I take in making this comic comes across.

Lastly, check out these awesome pieces. One by Michael C. Kappeler


… and another by Maciej Pałka, who based the image below on this and also managed to write this review.


It’s been an insane, wonderful year and this next one if gearing to be twice as nuts. Cannot wait for it, either… I look forward to making more comics for you to enjoy.


Wir vs Klaus

All About Process Art & Illustration

Lightning Round: Witch-king of Angmar, Elementals, Image

Witch King

As part of his private, ongoing Nazgul Art collection, illustrator Matt Kish had me draw the Witch-king of Angmar (from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings). Matt has an extensive blog showcasing all of his acquisitions, with a  variety of unique interpretations: Josh Simmons & Patrick Kyle among them.  All formidable & beautiful & I’m honored to be lined up next to such company.

Witch King

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Commission: Elementals. It was interesting drawing these characters – Fathom, Monolith, Vortex and Morningstar – because I had never read the comic. Always heard of it, 80s ground level superhero comics are in my wheelhouse, but I never dug in for no particular reason (same thing for similar staples such as Zot!, Grendel, Mage, New Wave and DNAgents). Who am I to pass on a chance to hunt for back issues, though? So I got the first few based on this article.

Elementals – created by Bill Willingham (who has always been the guy who drew those Justice League annuals to me).




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Commission: draw some core characters from the Image Comics universe in a Copra pose. This reminded me of being 12 in the early 90s and how cool it was to see these comics come out for the first time. Following these creators at Marvel was fun and all, but there was something about them doing their own thing that seemed raw and immediate and fresh. I was genuinely excited when these comics were coming out, so it was a treat to get to draw them here.

Character & Creator:

Spawn – Todd McFarlane

Void (WildC.A.T.s) – Jim Lee & Brandon Choi

Ripclaw (Cyberforce) – Marc Silvestri

Badrock & Shaft (Youngblood) – Rob Liefeld

Witchblade – Marc Silvestri, David WohlBrian Haberlin & Michael Turner

Shadowhawk – Jim Valentino

Savage Dragon – Erik Larsen

Art & Illustration

Travis Bickle On The Riviera

That there’s the image for the new podcast in town, Travis Bickle on the Riviera, with hosts Tucker Stone and Sean Witzke. It’s about movies, cinema, film, actors, actresses, directors, Hollywood… you name it, it’s on there.

Check it out on iTunes or at The Factual Opinion.

Art & Illustration

Doctor Strange & An Interview

Here’s a recent Doctor Strange drawing I made specifically for a brand spanking new blog: the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Reduxe Edition and it’s dedicated to the title of the same name. From the crew that brought us Relaunched, a diverse bunch of cartoonists aim to present their versions of the original profiles. Mark Gruenwald would be proud.

Doctor Stange was created and designed by Steve Ditko and the original drawing that mine was loosely based off of was pencilled by Paul Smith.

In other news, I was recently interviewed by Martyn Pedler over at Booklsut in regards to my bootleg/love letter/fan fic Suicide Squad comic [see previous post for details]. It’s a brief piece, underpinned by Pedler’s own frustrations with ethical negotiation when reading modern mainstream comics. Read it, it’s interesting.

Oh, yeah, and here’s  a Squad related sketch I did for Zack Smith at this past Heroes Con.



Art & Illustration

You Actually Can Dance To John Zorn (4 drawings & a shirt)

First thing’s first: Zegas Number Two finally came back from the printer this week! It’s kinda difficult to contain my excitement! It looks great, and I’m really happy at how it turned out. Place your order over at our Etsy store. For more online consumption, I also made two prints to go along with the comics, as well as a shirt… A SHIRT.

I got to draw some commissions, too, as a result of the Zegas crowd-funding that ran a couple of months ago. Here’s my version of KOYAMA

…JUNO for Alison Sampson’s ever growing collection

…and a Paul Smith-era Storm (couldn’t help but include the rest of the team).

In the spirit of sharing, he’s a pin up I did for Paul Maybury’s D.O.G.S. of Mars (out May 2nd!)

I have to be honest, receiving Zegas #2 was cool and all, as was drawing stuff for people, but sometimes you need something more out of life. Well, I recently conceived that something and it wasn’t exactly a happy accident (I thought to combine two things – a video & a song – in order to amuse myself). I wasn’t prepared, however, to see how truly perfect they were when combined (danke, BG).

Don’t let me cheapen it more by trying to explain it.

” A lot of my life has been reacting against those fucking assholes that say ‘you could do much better.’ … Go fuck yourselves. This is who I am, this is the best I can do and if you don’t like it, drop dead.” –John Zorn

That about sums it up for now. I’ll post some Zegas preview pages soon, as well as different type of “process” post.


Art & Illustration

F. D. A.

Here are some of the characters from the comic Faunamancer Domination Ascendancy written by Benjamin Marra & drawn by Michael DeForge. I’ve been gearing up to do some commission work and some fan stuff, so what better way to get into it than to do these amazingly designed characters? F.D.A. is a favorite of mine (which recently appeared in #11 here, but catch a page there), and I’d normally hope for more, except it sorta has the ultimate ending. Also, this specific cast is a mere drop in the vast sea of comics these guys put out individually. It’s sick… seriously, it’s crippling to even think how about how they must do it.

All About Process Art & Illustration

Madman Party Pin-Up

I recently got the chance to collaborate with one of my childhood comics heroes, Mike Allred, creator of Madman. I did a pencil drawing, Mike inked it and his wife Laura colored it! As if that wasn’t cool enough, the piece was slated to go into the Madman 20th Anniversary Monster (in stores mid-December).

The pin up was to depict a large cast of creator owned characters, all in celebration of the medium’s independent spirit. The idea originally sprung from Allred and Dean Haspiel (who vouched for me and my masochistic streak love of drawing crowd scenes). The piece would have an accompanying essay written by Adam McGovern, so all four of us began thinking up a master list of potential characters to feature. It started at 20 or so, then easily over 40. I held off on drawing anything until a definitive list was hammered out.

First, though, a rough sketch to give me an idea…

I had started with the basic information: a big ass party. It wasn’t to be a group action shot, but a bunch of folks hanging out instead. I made sure to draw the room in proportion to the space needed for the growing list of characters (70 at that point). I wanted to channel Yves Chaland in a way, but my main source of inspiration was Joost Swarte

…and Fred Hembeck.

The ultimate list of characters still had to be finalized. Between the four of us, a lot of characters were added, cut, suggested, added again, and dug up until that master list was actually completed. It ended up being a head count of over a hundred. All I had to do was make them coexist on a single page.

I wanted to convey every character’s personality at least in the smallest way. I had to reduce each one to a single, tiny movement. A bunch of little stories going on at once. I penciled as cleanly as possible and sent it off to Mike and Laura to complete it.

I still couldn’t believe Mike Allred was gonna ink this.

Working with Mike is a big deal to me.

I was really into Madman Comics back in the day, so I was naturally interested in the debut of its sister title, the Atomics. This was back in 2000. I liked the characters, the stories, and especially Mike’s positive attitude in making comics fun. He started his own company (AAA Pop Comics) and delivered a fun comic month in, month out. It was inspirational.

So much so that I was inspired to actually draw the Atomics. I had only drawn other people’s characters for company submissions, but this was different. I just wanted to draw something for the hell of it. So I did. I photocopied the drawing and mailed it to AAA Pop.

I didn’t give it much thought. I figured Mike might dig it and that was that. A few months later at the local comic book store, I was flipping through the latest issue of the Atomics and discovered that my fan art had been printed in the letters page!

Just like that, I was in print! For the first time! I received a very cool postcard from Mike himself months later. He was very supportive.

Skip to a year or so later. Remember when Mike teamed up with Peter Milligan to re-imagine Marvel’s X-Force franchise (later as X-Statix)? I was a total fanboy for this when it first hit, to the point where I even entered a contest – contest! – that involved drawing your own character. Readers were asked to create a mutant superhero for possible X-Force membership. What, you think I cared about creator ownership and licensing? Nah… I wasn’t submitting my life’s work, but just a goofy concept for the sake of involvement with a title I liked a whole bunch. All I wanted was Mike Allred to draw the mutant I created.

I called him Bastador, a teen Mexican wrestler who had a powerful living baby inside of him, constantly struggling to escape his masked mortal coil. Or something like that.

No, it didn’t win, thank you very much. I don’t even remember who did.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand.

Present day.

Imagine my surprise when this came in.

I was floored when I saw it. Leave it to Mike to take my cluttered mess and make it sing. He even added a few heads here and there. Given the sheer amount of creator owned characters, this single snapshot feels like we barely touched the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other great characters that weren’t squeezed in that I’m compelled to draw the other half of the room. Hmmm…

Thanks to Laura, Dean and Adam for being a part of this. Big thanks to Michael Dalton Allred for making it all happen and for being there with words of encouragement from the get go.

That’s my contribution to this awesome project. Be sure to get the Madman 20th Anniversary Monster this December 14th (some sources say the 21st). Don’t take my word for it; look at that roster. It’s got all of my favorite cartoonists and yours. Support your local comic shop while you’re at it, and have a happy holiday!


Art & Illustration Sometimes I Like Stuff

Summit Street Maps: Reeyobigs Edition


I was asked by a peer to draw up John Carter, even though the only thing I knew about the character was that Gil Kane drew him once. I liked the challenge of working on something unfamiliar, especially if it has swords. I never get to draw swords.


Death To the Universe has a great piece about the unique visual demands that only comics can carry (that’s putting it as broadly as possible). A Treatise on Optics nails one of the many aspects that make comics an important and beautiful art form.

On a loosely related note, another one of my favorite blogs, Heavy Discussion, recently posted a bunch of pictures and commentary of old zines. I think having tactile proof of one’s interests may be archaic, but it still has a lot more intimate power than we give it credit for. Having said that, don’t rule out the notion that HD may have inspired this post.


It’s not weird for me to look up and find that Slave to the Rhythm has been on repeat all afternoon. That, and a bunch of podcasts. Baseball on the radio might as well come next. Perhaps the hum of an electric fan may do the trick.

Brett Gelman has a new podcast up: Gelmania. That’s right, the guy behind the immortal iBrain teamed up with Tim Heidecker for this one. I hope it’s a recurring thing. It’s all good, but the 17:12 mark is where you want to be.

I wonder if that bit was the reason Marc Maron sounded bummed while talking to Neil Hamburger recently. Neil, who sings for one of the most important figures in Metal, usually leaves me in tears. I can see how awkward and out of place it is to have him come out in this intimate way that Maron’s cultivated.


Nick Abadzis wrote a piece about the Russian Cartoon Music concert played by the Brooklyn Philharmonic, an event we recently attended in Brighton Beach. Nick’s got some exceptional drawings accompanying the article. Good to see Blaise Larmee and J-Shasta leave comments.

Did I mention that Tony Salmons has a blog? Yeah, and he’s posting tons of original and unseen art over there. I have to pry myself away from the screen whenever he posts something.

In an unprecedented move, I discovered that I was basically wrong in my hateful assessment of the Legion of Superheroes: Five Years Later. I’ll write about the experience at length sometime soon but in a nutshell: I love the Giffbaum era of the title and have become obsessed with its place in comics. I recently came across Tom Bierbaum’s livejournal, where he describes what went on with each story he wrote issue by issue! I know… thank me later.


Oh, wait, look. I have drawn swords before. This Tellos piece was done a couple of years ago for a proposed Mike Wieringo tribute book, put together by Todd Dezago. I liked Mike’s art a whole lot but I never got around to reading Tellos when it was coming out. I was unfamiliar with the story, but the characters were fun to draw.

That should do it. Back to inking.