2013
11.05

FOLDOUT

Copra Compendium 3 to debut at CAB this Saturday, November 9th.

It collects Copra 7 – 9 and weighs in at 80 pages.

2013
10.29

Today marks the last  episode of  the Legacy Music Hour podcast. Every week, comedians Brent Weinbach and Rob F. Switch played, dissected, and introduced scores of 8-bit and 16-bit music from 80s and 90s video games.

LMH changed my life. Let it change yours.

LMH

Poster designed by Vic Roman

I discovered the Legacy Music Hour pretty recently actually - last January for their 1990 episode - and instantly became obsessed. I mean, look… I really enjoy those old chunes and can listen to the few I’ve managed to amass over the years. There I was, sitting long hours at the drawing table and marathoning podcast after podcast. I had embarked on a massive project and was running out of content to listen to (I’m still considering baseball games or just AM radio static hums). But then there it was – a show that talked about a very specific interest of mine extensively and passionately. I was hooked. User for life. It made a world of difference.

If you weren’t an Atari/Ninetndo/Sega kid, there’s a chance you might not like this stuff. It’s not a strict generational thing, though; there are young musicians making original Bit music (and rock bands that cover the old ones, too), but there’s nothing quite like the high degree of quality from composers that were limited by technology and in service of a new, juvenile type of pop entertainment. We were bound to end up with a lot of content at the rate video games grew. Brent and Rob, week in week out, looked back to separate the wheat from the chaff.

legacydanceparty_nerdmelt-550x742

The highlights include the first Experimental episode and all the Sports (every single one). With episodes like New Age, Elevator Music, and Slow Jams, what else does one need? Let’s not ignore Movies, Horror and Fighting. Oh, and Toys! If it wasn’t for the Toys episode, I wouldn’t be aware of this masterpiece. Don’t like listening to voices? They got you covered.

+ + + + +

Nintendo.Team.Double.Dragon.2

 

From my personal collection: I’ve always loved this Quick Man theme – every single second of Mega Man 2, really – and its Latin Freestyle flavor is so obvious to me. I see the dots and I don’t think it’s my nostalgia that’s connecting them. There has to be some shared sensibility at work here. I even hear it in industrial music from the same era.  cevin Key must’ve traded notes with Keiji Yamagishi and Ryuichi Nitta.

How about this one, straight from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with its kinda sorta Faith No More thing? In other words, it’s kinda sorta perfect: Oil Ocean Zone.

Oh, and Yellow Magic Orchestra or Ryuichi Sakamoto? They’re the godfathers of this bit world.

If you’re gonna bring Latin Freestyle to the table, you’ll eventually mention Depeche Mode (according to Miami DJs in ’87) and New Order. Then you have to mention Afrika Bambaataa, which loops right back to Latin Freestyle. You can say I’m just making convenient connections to fit my preferred tastes, and I can live with that! But I do think there’s something more to it than a personal checklist.

+ + + + +

Nintendo.Team.Double.Dragon

I liked video games so much I started my own comic book imprint called Nintendo Team where I would make comic book versions of my favorite video games: Double Dragon 1 (above) & 2, Renegade , the Punisher, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I began drawing a Ninja Gaiden issue, but I couldn’t beat the game and I wouldn’t dare just… just… make up the ending).
My point is that video games were a big part of my formative years. They held my interest and got my imagination going. The stories, the graphics, the music… especially the music.
+ + + + +

I don’t mean to digress. I guess I’m putting off the inevitable. It actually just happened. Today, hours ago. The Legacy Music Hour is over.

The weekly shot of fresh 8 & 16-bit won’t be coming around anymore, but the LMH archives can and should be combed through. They’ve made it easy for us: iTunesNerdist, or through their very own impeccably documented blog (in which they’ll occasionally update). Keep up with them on YouTube and Facebook, in case they decide to throw a west coast dance party (which they do every so often; I haven’t wanted to live in California this bad since I first saw Point Break).

Legacy-Music-Hour

Rob F. Switch a.k.a. Roberto Villalobos is a comedian, an actor, and barber. YouTube that man, then Like his page, then Tweet at him.

Brent Weinbach makes videos, makes albums, makes with the bang bang, and he even made it weird. Do that Twitter thing on him, too.

Gentlemen, as a creature of habit, a child of the 80s, and a person who has to sit for long periods of time, I will sorely miss this show. But who can be sad when faced with the many great episodes you guys spent your energies on? Every track was handled with loving detail, thorough research, and genuine humor. This is a well deserved break.

There’s always the replay button. Thanks for reminding us of that.

–Fiffe

 

2013
10.28

Cover 11

Copra #11 exists, it’s in print, and it is here! This is the penultimate chapter in Copra’s first major arc and it introduces a bunch of new persons of interest who I’m sure you’ll learn to love.

(Urgh – then there’s the fact that this is all coming to a halt soon… not a complete stop, mind you, but this is it – home stretch, almost there, hang in there, baby.)

Hey.Sonia

NEWS: I’ll be at Comic Arts Brooklyn this November 9th. I’ll be peddling comics including this:

COMP 3.cover

That’s the third compendium (collecting Copra #s 7 – 9) and once again, the wonderful Bergen Street Comics crew have expressed their support by way of putting this collection out in the world (on sale 11/9).

* * * * * * *

Copra #11 is the last issue that will have art in the letters page only because there will be no space in #12. Here are the ones that made it in:

Rax by Pedro Camargo

x.RAX.Camargo

On top of making comics, Pedrozilla happens to like stuff and occasionally say things.

* * * * * * *

Count Compota by Jason Thibodeaux

compota.web

Jason makes music videos, works on movies, and works in the theatre of the mind.

* * * * * * *

Wir by “Calamity” Jon Morris

IMG_113

Jon has an art/appreciation tumblr and was the force behind Relaunched! and OHOTMU Redux.

* * * * * * *

There were a couple of character pieces that I received after the issue had gone to press.

Vitas, King Egg, caught mid pose by Colin Rankine

Vitas

…and a shadowy Rax from creator Jamie Hibdon!

x.RAX 2

Receiving these renditions of Copra characters never fails to be the coolest thing. I’m glad I got to squeeze a few of them in.

* * * * * * *

Before you know it, big issue twelve will be here. In a month, in fact!

For the moment, enjoy Copra #11.

–Fiffe

SANGRE FRESCA

 

2013
09.26

C O P R A # 10

Cover 10

Copra #10! This issue… my inky, shivering hands are offering it to you. Copra #10 ushers in the last leg of this Copra situation, this multi dimensional scandal that connects various characters and their rivals. It clears the air while propelling the main story to its climax. I really wish I could offer up some pages for you to look at in case you were having second thoughts but, man, I just don’t wanna spoil it! Here are a few frame-ready images:

yay balls BOOMER

yay balls XENIA

yay balls YAY

Are you really going to deny yourself a good old fashioned meat n’ potatoes beat down? You’re totally right: who would? Don’t let Copra #10 down.

FiffeFord.cvr

ITEM: Sean Ford conducted an interview with me in mini comics form. Don’t miss it!

ITEM 2: I’ve put up a handful of illustrations for sale. Original comics related art… check it out:

- Skullface & Hellrazor (SOLD)

- Beta Ray Bill (SOLD)

- John Carter of Mars

- Typhoid Mary & Co. (SOLD)

ITEM 2.1: Running low on Copra 7 so if you’ve been holding back, here’s your chance to fix that.

ONE MORE ITEM: My voice was recorded in The Next Issue podcast. Listen at your own risk.

LAST ITEM, I SWEAR: Mark your calendars, Brooklyn. I will be tabling at CAB this November.

Come back next month and see a bunch of new characters that I’ve — I’ve — okay, okay, fine. Here’s at least one page from this issue:

008

But you have to promise to listen to this Brent Weinbach VGM mix when you read this story. It’s only fair; this mix is pretty much all I listened to making it. Lloyd and Boomer’s buddy cop issue requires a soundtrack, so there.

This month: COPRA TEN.

Next month: new characters and a climax. It may get a little messy.

–Fiffe

2013
08.28

C O P R A # 9

 01

Ready to be bought and curled up to: COPRA #9 is here!

So is Dy Dy; look at her up there in her cracked bubble with her tiny hat. So majestic, so sick, so irresistible. Well, she’s back in full effect in this issue, picking up where we left off. The tension builds as our Copra team is fighting their way back into Earth’s dimension.

09.GUTH

Last month I showed a couple of process pics but felt slightly guilty that they were next to nothing, basically prison wall scribblings on paper. And that’s not fair to you folks,; I love sharing the few modest details I’ve developed. I vowed to at least document a few extra steps in my art making process this time around, so here’s the first page of Copra #9, as tightly as I will ever pencil a page (with some boxed in lettering) within a 10 x 16 diameter, which I believe is standard  mainstream comic book size.

DY DY pencil

Lettering follows, naturally, as do the inks. One of my cleaner pages, especially with all of the open spaces…

DY DY ink

 …which I then fill up with color pencil or watercolors. Same thing with the pencil shading and additional details. Having art that is directly applied with color on the original boards takes longer because it leaves little room for mess ups. I have to nail it on the first go and although I do minor touch ups after I scan the originals, I do most of the heavy lifting during the initial hands-on phase.

Check out the final result below, followed by the subsequent pages, for a preview of Copra #9.

01

02

03

04

There you go: the next chapter in our off-world adventure. And for our bloodthirsty set, worry not. The calm, diplomatic discussion found within these pages doesn’t last very long.

*****

Just in! Here are a couple of thorough Copra reviews, where the entire series gets summed up as a whole.

1. The Killray suggests “You Need To Read…”

2. Adventures In Poor Taste! asks “Is It Good?”

*****

Bring the summer to a close with Copra #9, so buy it with confidence! (issue seven and eight are still available as well in case you missed out)

Check in next month to see who survived, who didn’t, and what Copra’s endgame mission is. Hint: it will involve a bullet or two.

–Fiffe

09.CLINK

2013
07.14

C O P R A # 8


COPRA EIGHT cover

COPRA #8, it has arrived.

It is ready to be ordered and read and held close to your beating heart.

Remember last issue’s breather? We chucked that plan out the window with “Otros Mundos”, our latest multi dimensional adventure.

But wait… here’s something I don’t do enough of: process pics!

ROUGH.1

These are probably the tightest layouts I’ve done in a while… and only for a mere 2 pages, for the most basic staging purposes (the rest of the issue was planned out in a series of notes, not thumbnails). I make the majority of the decisions while I’m pencilling, then I quickly commit to those decisions when I ink (usually on the same day, which is why I don’t get a chance to scan that particular stage).

ROUGH.2

That was a two page spread. This is what the pages look like before they get colored:

A

B

C

As for this month’s guest art spot, it features the work of Adrian Johnson, illustrator, cartoonist and 1/3 of the great Sidebar comics podcast (I direct you to their immense Barchives).

ADRIAN

I’m diggin’ this fauX cover, Adrian. Believe me, I wish I could charge fifty cents an issue!

* * * * * *

Attn: Readers in the UK and abroad! Impossible Books is now open for business and they’re carrying all of your future favorite small press books.

* * * * * *

So there you have it, folks, your midsummer funnybook. Flexible enough to be rolled into your back pocket and sturdy enough to survive beach conditions. Whatever you do, you must get it first, so do precisely that!

See you in August.

–Fiffe

2013
07.10

COMP 2

The second Copra Compendium has arrived and you can buy it here! Bergen Street Comics Press has collected Copra issues four, five and six, coming in at 76 pages colorful, loving brutality.

See that group shot up there? I bet you can tell that’s new art for the cover… and it is (the compendium also includes the original covers, but I wanted to do something new).

WIR

Also available is the new printing of the first Compendium (collecting issues one, two and three). That one’s also a 76 pager and includes a new back cover, too.

So catch up on your Copra and check back in for further issues (#7 is already on sale). The eighth issue will be available very soon, it just needs to get printed and shipped right after I color it! Here’s a brief look at the home stretch.

Thanks to the established readers of the series – I hope you don’t get tired of me saying how much I appreciate your support – and thanks to those of you trying out Copra for the first time. We think you’ll love it, but let us know what the verdict is.

–Fiffe

2013
06.21

ZEGAS #2 Sells Out!

x.Emily Bullet

The second issue of Zegas has sold out! Even with its very limited print run, I never thought the moment would come (I always saw myself as an old man sitting on a throne made up of unsold copies of Zegas #1 and Deathzone!, actually). I’ll be honest: selling out is not ideal if you want your work to get out there and reach new readers, and since I can’t quite add Zegas to my self-publishing schedule and budget, these first two issues will remain out of print for the foreseeable future. A collection may be in order but again, not for a while.

Borrow a copy from a friend, check it out from a library, or look over some of the pages here. In fact, there’s a list at the bottom of that post of comic shops that carried issue 2, and they may still do. Might be worth asking.

Of course, Zegas #0 is still available, which is just a good a starting point as any.

Zegas #2 will always remind me of my brief flirtation with crowdfunding, and of all the support I received throughout its entire process. I’m really proud of the results, and I have many of you to thank for that.

 

 

2013
06.14

C O P R A # 7

01

So this is what happened: a bunch of boxes were waiting for me this morning, boxes full of Copra #7, and now I have no choice but to get them out to you. COPRA #7 is waiting for you!

I really appreciate your interest in this comic

You’ve made it this far… six issues of carnage, fisticuffs and shoot ‘em ups. Our first arc is behind us but the story is far from over. This time around we take a chance to find out a little more about our Copra guys and gals. The story’s called “Personal Files” and it’s… well, I hate to describe it as quiet because someone gets shot, someone gets burned, and someone is violently choked (as opposed to gently choked). You get the idea: the title says it all.

Here’s a new bullet:

Gracie Bullet

An aside: take a gander at these awesome versions of Vitas and Man-Head by Dieter Van Der Ougstraete! Too good, Dieter VDO is! His latest, Big Pink, has unfortunately sold out but please contact him directly and see if you can get any of his work, be it prints, comics, or t-shirts.

DIETER COPRA

So now that every member of Copra has been patched up and some have even swallowed their survivor’s guilt, the crew is ready to finish out their objectives in the next issue. Grant them this brief respite because it’s only going to get worse.

But why harp on the negative, huh? Kick off the summer with Copra #7 and I’ll see you back here in July.

–Fiffe

Your support means everything to me

2013
05.02

First of all, how excellent is Tim Hamilton for employing his drawing skills for a couple of my Copra characters, Gracie and Dy Dy?

Tbone Gracie

 

S E L L – O U T 

Copra #5 is officially sold out! That means all I have left in the warehouse known as my studio are a few copies of #2 and the latest #6.

Rest assured; not only will the print run will go up starting with issue #7, but a second compendium is in the works. The first Compendium, collecting the first 3 issues, is still available through Bergen Street Comics Press.

I’m trying to make these books as accessible as I could, so if you’ve come around looking for Copra and found that some issues are missing, it shouldn’t be too long before they’re here.

C O M I C S      A  L  L I A N C E

In related news, I wanted to mention my recent interview with Chris Sims over at Comics Alliance. It was a great chance for me to ramble on about why I liked Russian prison fights when I was 9, but especially about Copra related stuff.

CA recently closed its doors, and I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge how extremely supportive of my comics that site has been for a number of years. From running my art to featuring reviews and articles about Zegas, Deathzone!, and Copra, the Comics Alliance crew definitely introduced a slew of new readers to my comics. For that I will always be grateful. I wish them all the best.

I S S U E    S E V E N 

I’m about to start drawing it. That’s all I know, all that’s locked in my sights.

See you then.

–Fiffe