Arizona: The Land Of Meth Heads and Unopened Star Trek Toys

Mouths Within Mouths

I’m currently in Arizona. Not by choice, mind you. I’m here out of familial obligation. The simultaneous happenings of my sister’s birthday and my partner’s mother’s birthday was enough to lure us back into the rattlesnake infested, drug addled wasteland that is Tucson.

Arizona, where I was born and raised, is not my favorite place. Partially due to the massive amount of time I’ve spent here, and partially due to the unsavory individuals I’ve encountered within the boarders of the Union’s Most Bigoted state.

There are two things that constantly shock me about Arizona. 1) People here don’t change. Every time I return to this state I inevitably encounter people I know and they’re always doing the same thing. They’re always working some dead end job. It’s like the entire state has convinced itself that it needs to be doing whatever it is that they’re doing. Even if what they’re doing is working at a gas station. 2) There are Star Trek figures at every store in Tucson. Not the cool Art Asylum ones either. The crappy big-headed Playmates ones. They’re everywhere. I don’t know if a batch of collectors died and their relatives have been dumping their TNG and DS9 toys and local used book stores or if people are finally getting older and realizing that these toys aren’t “going to put their kids through college”.

Arizona’s a weird place. It’s flat, dry, and, obviously, fucking hot. There’s nothing to do here. The positive side of the fact that life here is so uneventful is that it necessitates self reflection. The topography of the social terrain requires the inhabitant to administer self-diagnostics. When you’re born and raised in Arizona, you’re forced to evaluate yourself and what you want out of your existence because there’s literally nothing else to do.

Due to the harsh social terrain of Arizona, individuals who spend any significant amount of time here develop social adaptations. They become predators. They grow psychic barbs and talons. People who live and survive in the desert do so because they’re conditioned for it. They’re psychic vultures.

The desert is an inhospitable place to attempt to subsist. Everything is constantly attempting to kill you. Literally and metaphorically.

All that being said, this trip has been really nice. Ever since cutting a few people out of my social circle my level of happiness has skyrocketed.

Honesty is key. Vulnerability is a commodity. It’s these exchanges of dark secrets that cements a friendship. I’ve developed deep rooted connections with people in this place. There’s something about existing in a pack of wolves that helps you to appreciate the other sheep, if that makes any sense.

Tucson, and Arizona in general, is a mixed bag of awful and joy. Obviously, my family lives here. Some of my closest friends have chosen to remain here. However, the overwhelming stillness of life here is debilitating. Possibly, it’s my inability to let go of the traumas that I’ve endured while living here, but sadness echoes in the place. In Los Angeles, life is full and vibrant. It’s almost overloaded with color. I have an amazing partner who I go on swashbuckling adventures with. I have friends and adopted family who are intelligent and creative. In Tucson everything is brown, slow, and slightly decayed.

Arizona feels like another lifetime. It feels like when I moved away from this place I died and was reborn. And every time I come back here I’m forced to confront the ghost of who I was.

The first question I get asked at parties and social functions in Hollywood is inevitably “where are you from?” because no one in L.A. is actually from there. I’m always forced to spit out ‘Arizona’. It never feels right. I don’t consider this place my home. I don’t consider myself from here. It’s the place I was born and then left.


Dave Baker

Tucson, Az 2013


Action Hospital Is Go!


Well, we’re off and running. Action Hospital is moving forward.

Our first page went live today and the response has been wonderful. We’re all super thankful that everyone has responded the way that they have. It’s been really nice seeing people coming together in order to help us promote our work.

If you like what you’re seeing here in the Action Hospital you should check out the websites of the people who make it. Action Hospital #1 has been put together by myself, Robert Negrete and Henry Barajas.

Henry has is a marvelous writer in his own right. His work can be seen in the amazingly funny comic Captain Unicorn . Henry is also a writer for the Tucson Weekly and a standup comedian of some note. All that and Henry can find the time to letter our little book. Impressive, right? He’s a beast. The dude must sleep even less than I do.

Robert is a wicked talented illustrator. His pages look like posters. His talents cannot be exaggerated. You can see more of his work at RobertNegrete.Com Robert is a knockout illustrator and I’m a lucky dude to be working with them.

I’m very thankful to be working with these two gentlemen. I’m also very thankful for the outpouring love and encouragement towards us. We’ll try and not disappoint you guys.




I love Billy Zane. More than is probably healthy. While I was drawing Awesomenaut, a book about a time traveling super spy I drew a few years back, I watched The Phantom on a loop. I’m not exaggerating. Literally on a loop. I don’t even know how many times I’ve seen the film.

The Phantom, the character, holds a special place in my heart. To me, he represents raw potential. Infinite possibilities. Untold stories. The Phantom AKA Kit Walker  is the 22nd inheritor of the mantle of the Phantom. He’s a crime fighter who inherited the lifestyle. He’s trapped in the family business. He believes in what he’s doing but he still is in the family business. I see him as a second generation plumber. People need plumbers but nobody really wants to be a plumber.

The Phantom is a symbol. Since all of the Phantoms have been men there’s an urban legend that he’s a ghost or that he’s immortal. There’s a mystical narrative that surrounds The Phantom that would be so constricting as a persons. You’d never be able to put your personal stamp on anything you did. You’d always be defined by your forefathers actions. You’d be perpetually entombed in the personal legend of your family tree. That’s such a great concept for a character and such a tragic coffin of a life.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve read a lot of Phantom comics and I’ve never really read one that I loved. I guess it has to do with the character’s long history. There have been a lot of writers who have tackled him and most of them just place emphasis on the fighting and the heroing. His popularity has wained over the past fifty years so I would assume that that, coupled with the fact that the main demographic of Phantom readers is people in their 80’s, has contributed to his stories being limited to the action adventure genre. I’d love to see some Phantom comics that are about Kit Walker as a person. I mean, sure I like punching and spandex as much as the next guy, but I would love to see a bit more complexity in the Phantom stories that I read.

Also: the Dynamite reboot of the Phantom was not for me. Sorry, Alex Ross. Didn’t do it for me.

I bring the Phantom up because that’s the headspace that I’m in currently. I’m really amped to be writing and co-drawing this comic. I have a lot of things to say through these characters and I want to maximize the potential of the stories on every page. That’s one of the reasons why our issues are going to be so small. We’re doing hyper compressed, extremely stylized narrative-explosions.

The Phantom, the ghost who walks, is the spirit animal of this book.


Until Next Time,

Dave Baker

Tucson, Az 2013


My God! He’s Done It!

Don’t Shit Yourself In The Spotlight 

When you’re making comics with someone, or pairing up with anyone to do anything creative, it’s immediately apparent who is serious and who isn’t. Sometimes it can feel like you’re in an old-time jailbreak movie, and when the spotlight is trained on you by the potbellied tower guard, your first impulse it to shit your pants. It’s important that you find people to work with who have than impulse but then start sprinting for the wall.

You need to be a team. Two matching black and white be-jumpsuited creators desperately struggling against the confines of life and the realities of the comic book industry.

The key to creating interesting work is finding someone who is actually interested in creating something. That seems like a pretty self evident statement. But you’d be surprised how many people are ‘trying’ to do something without ever really trying. They just have the identity of struggling against something. And when those ideological barriers are torn down? They go crazy.

That’s why it’s important to find people who want to make cool things, not be seen making cool things. There’s a massive difference.


Robert Negrete is one of those people. He’s dtf. He’s down to fly. He’s got the skills, his bags are packed and he’s ready to rock and roll.


He’s been doing some really interesting things on both his tumblr and deviantart pages. The work that he’s  creating has been marvelous as of late. I may be a little biased due to my close personal relationship and the fact that I’ve been writing the stuff that he’s been drawing lately, but whatever. That’s irrelevant. Just look at his awesome drawings, man.



Look how awesome that little plant monster is! How dope is that? All I had to do was say, “Robert, draw a plant monster eating a bowl of cereal and he draws the best super intelligent plant moster ever. This is why comics rocks. Super intelligent plant people.

Be sure to check out his website too. He’s got some really nice pieces on there.


The Micron Is Mightier Than The Sword

I’m starting to ink my Action Hospital pages. I should have something cool to show you soon.


The title for this post comes from Doc Frankenstein #1. 5 points if you somehow guessed that.


Until Next Time,

Dave Baker

Hollywood, California 2013


Yes…But Take Warning



Live Long and Party

creating is a very lonely thing. You spend all your time sitting in a room ‘working’. Sure, some people listen to podcasts or music but it’s an undeniably solitary life. I’m not complaining, mind you. I love not having to go into an office. I love being able to push my schedule around as I please. However, there are times when even I, the most hobbity of hermits, want to interact with people.

In Trek terms, ‘away missions’ are required from time to time. They help maintain my sanity, which is constantly on the verge of snapping.

Night before last I, and my small cadre of nerds, ventured down onto Hollywood Blvd. To say that it’s a hive of scum and villainy wouldn’t be incorrect. The place is bonkers. Twenty-four-seven. Part of me loves it and part of me hates it. I love the fact that a few blocks from my house there’s a massive orgy of excess and drunken indulgence. I also can’t help but be disgusted by the artifice of it all. On Hollywood Blvd there’s nothing honest. There’s nothing real. It’s like Vegas. It’s all genetically engineered to be consumed by individuals who have no cultural awareness. Hollywood Blvd is the porn version of life in California. Everything is heightened, all the vulnerabilities are shoved under a rug, and there’s a shit ton of noise.  There’s a large facet of my person that devours this presentation of life here. I love the fact that people come here to escape from their everyday lives. Even individuals who still live in Los Angeles attend parties and go to clubs on Hollywood Blvd because a small part of themselves buys into what the club owners and party throwers are selling.


And then there’s shit like this. A fucking dude in a Mario suit. Why? Because it’s friday night and why not. It’s like comic con, but with more crappy hip-hop. And almost every night.


The sheer volume of ‘holyfuckwedon’thavetoworktomorrowlet’sgetfuckedup’ is astonishing. People really hate their jobs, their partners, their (insert aspect of their life here) and they are constantly attempting to escape it. Every time I’m in a situation where I witness this It gives me an immense amount of perspective. Oh course there are elements of my life I’m not happy with. Everyone has something. But it’s the fact that people need these venues to escape from themselves for two or three hours that I find endlessly fascinating. I find the whole cycle really beautiful and really sad simultaneously.



The Curse of the Carpal Tunnel Creatures From Beyond The Grave

And now on to the the things you care about. COMICS. Or rather the drawing of the comics and such. Or maybe you don’t care about comics. I don’t know.

I’m almost done penciling Action Hospital #3. I’ve got about two more pages left to lay the graphite down on and the WE MOVE TO THE INKS!


Working on the art side of comics again is interesting. It’s been a while since I’ve actually put any serious effort into drawing. I’ve been concentrating on writing for so long. I’m really enjoying drawing again. I forgot how rewording it is to see a blank page birthed into something so much more.


One of the challenges about writing/drawing is being able to keep one hat on for an extended period of time. Whenever I start drawing I instantly start thinking of ideas for the next script and vis versa. I suppose that’s a good problem to have.


Drawing drawing and them more drawing, man. That’s really all their is to say, at this point. I’m just really deep into the production of this thing. I’m going to be overjoyed when it’s finished.


Form Of A Bucket of Awesome Comics!

Last night I got together with Robert Negrete, my creative partner in crime on Action Hospital.


Robert has finished all the layouts for Action Hospital 2 is just starting on the pages. Even his thumbnails are fucking dope. Look at this:



Great, right? Yeah, great. Robert is ten times the illustrator that I am. Here’s hoping I can finagle him into doing Action Hospital for a little while.



Bonus Chun Li?

I mean, look at these sketchbook pages, man! Look at his control of from and his line weights. It’s super duper good. photo-2

So, since I’m nearing the end of Action Hospital #3 Robert and I have some super cool things planned. We’re going to be both drawing on the pages. As such, here’s a sneak peak:





Team up drawing, yo!


So, there you have it. Drawings, comics, me in a Science Officer’s shirt out in public, and Robert Negrete owning me at the drawing game.


Special Announcement: We’re shooting to launch the Action Hospital page #1 this Wednesday. See you then!


The title for this post comes from Detective Comics #300. Five Points?


Until Next Time,

Dave Baker

Hollywood, Ca 2013


In Space, No One Can Hear You Be A Bigot

What’s the plural of Kaiju? 

You know what’s been missing from the tried and true western genre? Monsters. Big stumpy monsters. Like Godzilla. Can you imagine a book that had a cool stoic western protagonist and tons of stomps monsters? Man, I wish there were more comics like that. I guess I’ll just have to make some. Well, that is to say Nick Diaz and I will have to make some.

Along with Action Hospital, my day job of writing commercials, and the screenplay I’m writing right now, I’m working on a Kaiju western with artist extraordinaire Nick Diaz.


Nick has done work for Archana and Moonstone in addition to drawing some comics for a middle eastern comics publisher. That’s right. Nick’s made comics in the middle east. How rad is that?

 old west mustache, FOR THE WIN!

old west mustache, FOR THE WIN!

Anyway, Nick and I have put our heads together and are currently in the middle of creating a western/kaiju epic titled Creaturelands.



Just take a second and look over these character sketches. How good is Nick? How amazing are his monsters? Super pimp, right? Yeah, super pimp.
582422_10151440601201694_428255010_n 602794_10151447674186694_937790443_n 74143_10151444027536694_470725593_n 379770_10151446137531694_1928074844_n 320897_10151434758961694_995006444_n 555165_10151440210611694_120489361_n


Nick and I are plugging along with Creaturelands. Hopefully, we’ll have some finished products to show you soon. Currently, Nick is about five pages away from finishing the first issue. We should be selling it to a publisher/setting it up as a webcomic/or whatever we’re going to do with it after that.

Nick is a work horse, man. You should see the detailed thumbnails that he sends me. His thumbnails are almost as impressive as his finished pages. The guy really puts his back into everything he produces.

I’m so thankful to have him as one of my collaborators.


Action Possible and the Progress of the Hospital! 

Robert is still working on his layouts and I’m about 1/3 of the way through my Action Hospital script.


Writing comics is hard. Drawing comics is hard. Writing and drawing comics is like giving birth. You’re constantly questioning yourself. Why did I write this scene this way? Why did I set it in this location. I suck at drawing this location. Why didn’t I set it in a different location. What is my problem?!

Like I said: I’m a glutton for punishment.

photo copy

That all being said, I’m pretty happy with the way things are progressing. I’m not hating the work I’m putting down on paper. I’m not unhappy with the script. I’m just slowly working through it. I’m hoping to have this all wrapped up next week so that I can move from the pencils to the inks.


She Said With A Strangely Nasal Voice

My journey with the starship Voyager is progressing and I’m starting to Love/Hate it.

So far in the first five episodes the show seems obsessed with the idea of reflections. In theory this isn’t a bad idea. The concept of reflections serving as a visual metaphor for the fact that Voyager is the fourth tv show to carry on the legacy of the Star Trek legacy. The fact that these various franchise installments mimic and imitate each other is analogous to the reflections concept. It’s a really great idea for commenting meta textually on the various permutations that the franchise has gone through.

However, it’s pretty terrible in execution. Nearly each one of the first five episodes has dealt with a reflection of the Voyager in someway. For example, the Voyager drops out of warp due to a distress beacon from a ship trapped in the even horizon of a collapsing star. Eventually the crew figure out that the ship that they’re attempting to save is, in fact them. That they’re seeing a reflection of themselves across space and time. Cool idea right? Sort of. The show just misses each time. I don’t know if it was because famed Star Trek writer Brannon Bragga was primarily assigned DS9, which left Ron Moore do be the head writer  Voyager or if it this is just this is what happens with all Star Trek shows. They’re bad for like two or three seasons and then the writers figure the show out and BOOM. It’s amazing. I’m not sure.

All I know is that every episode of Voyager is brimming with potential and very few episodes have really excelled.


I’m keenly interested to see how they handle Commander Chakotay, the Native American first officer. At one point in the pilot one of the Star Fleet officers calls Chakotay an Indian and I cringed. It’s really hard to believe that a 24th century man would use that term to describe someone of indigenous birth.


Alien? Anyone? Alien? 5 Points?


Until Next Time,

Dave Baker

Hollywood, Ca 2013


As The Invaders Leap From Their Shining Machine…

It’s like riding a bike…made of poverty and rejection 

Drawing comics is the hardest thing any human being could ever do. Lance Armstrong had fucking steroids. You know what cartoonists have? A pen. It’s just you and a blank piece of paper. That’s one of the many reasons why the comics medium is so amazing. It offers so many opportunities. There’s no restrictions. The only limit is you. The only downside? No safety net. If you don’t know how to draw that dragon or that house or that arm everyone will know instantly. Because it’s there. It’s not right. It’s just sticking out saying, ” I’m not right. Look at me.”


I’m currently in the beginning stages of penciling. All the layouts are done and the rough shapes and angles are there but none of the specifics or details are laid down. I usually try and work pretty quick when I’m laying out a page. It’s very evident when something is working. Equally so when it isn’t.


I’ve been blasting through things on the page I’m currently working on. I’m not sure if that’s because I’m rusty so I’m not seeing everything that I should be or if I’m just better at this than I’m remembering.

I’m really trying to push the expressions side of things. I’m having a hard time getting things to be as malleable as I’d like. This is the beginning of this comic though so, I’m sure by the end of it I’ll have Ye Ole ‘Oh FUCK’ face down pat. That seems to be the expression that comes up most often.


Drawing is a constant evolution. Or at least it should be. Finding stylistic nooks and crannies always get me really excited about the work I’m doing. Laying down the broad strokes of composition and narrative have their place too, but usually it’s the little things that get me jazzed.

Case in point. Robot arms.


In the second Action Hospital Robert and I are introducing a transgender character that has a robot arm. I got so amped about the idea of robot arms that I’m going to make them ubiquitous in our universe. Robot arms are the cell phones of the Action Hospital.

I really dig drawing nonsense tech. I suck at drawing ACTUAL tech. But if I can just put some weird plates and circles on shit, I’m a happy camper.


Look at that robot arm. None of that works. None of that is functional in any way. But it looks cool, right? Well, at least I think it looks cool.

I’ve been really pushing myself to create more dynamic layouts. I’ve been attempting to really show movement. That’s something I’m typically not great at. I draw books about people sitting in chairs and crying. Action Hospital isn’t that type of book. It’s big. It’s fun. It’s bombastic. It’s got super-intelligent plant people.


The title is from DC Comic Showcase #30. If you knew that: 5 points.


Until Next Time ,

Dave Baker

Hollywood, Ca 2013


Dignity. Always Dignity.

Johnnie Hobbs and the Internal Dictations 

You’re probably here for comics/drawings/nerdy things. Well, that’s not what’s happening right now.

We’re talking about tap dancing.

Last night I attended a tap dancing party/workshop/dance battle/tap-stomp-the-yard thing. This is just one of the million reasons that I love living in Los Angeles. You work all day. You’re about to call it a night and go to sleep like an old person and someone calls you and says, ‘Hey, do you want to come to a (insert weird cultural activity that you have had little or no contact with) party tonight?” And of course you say, “Fuck yes!” because you’re not old and going to sleep is morally reprehensible in that situation.

Last night, my director buddy Johnnie Hobbs, my partner Sarah, and I went to ‘Monday Night Tap’.

Now, just for some background, Johnnie is a tap dancer. So, it’s not that strange that he was attending a tap party/class/dance battle/whateverthefuckhaveyou.

Johnnie’s a stellar dude. He made a movie with Dule Hill titled Nostalgia that you can see more about here. There’s really no earthly way to describe Mr Hobbs. He’s a massive ball of energy. Let me give you an example. Johnnie and I don’t really talk on the phone. We text… OR SING.

That’s right. Johnnie, a grown ass man, and I sing R & B style songs into our iPhone voice memo apps, and then send them to each other. To say that we’re both sickeningly childlike is a gross understatement. The only reason Johnnie can get away with it is because he has a million dollar smile. Look at that shit:


Colgate, mother fucker.

So, now you’re all caught up. Johnnie plus Sarah plus Me = going to a tap party/dance/shindig

Needless to say, I’m not a tap dancer. I don’t really know anything about it other than Sammy Davis Jr is rad and that kid from Sesame Street was cool when I was 9. Johnnie, on the other hand, is a virtual cornicopia of tap knowledge. On the ride there Johnnie schooled us on Bring Da Noise, Bring Da Funk, Savion Glover, and and the history of Tap.

Let’s digress for a moment. Los Angeles has an image problem. People all over the world think that L.A. is just overly-plastic-surgeried, blond haired, blue eyed, trust fund assholes. Yes, those people exist here. But there’s so much more to Los Angeles than that. People in L.A. are all trying to make something. They’re all trying to establish something. They’re all trying to create things. You can’t say the same for everywhere else.

The reason I wanted to get that out there is because this Tap event we went to was in the back of someone’s house. That’s right. It wasn’t in a studio. It was someone’s living room that they’d re-modled to be a tap studio. It was insane.

When we arrived, there was a class going on. Sarah Reich, the woman who owned the house, was leading a class of 30 or so dancers. It was awesome. There’s something about the percussive nature of tap that really connects with you on a guttural level.

After the class, the dancers formed a circle and started stomping their feet in unison. They were making a beat. Then, each dancer would step into the center of the circle and riff off of baseline that the group was establishing. You Got Served can jump off a cliff. Stomp The Yard can take a nap. This tap-battle-jam-session-whatever was amazing. The level of talent on display was jaw dropping.

It was such a positive experience. Dancers of all ages and skill levels would have their time in the spotlight while everyone would encourage them. The dancer’s skill level ranged from Dule Hill, one of the original cast members from Bring Da Noise, Bring Da Funk and West Wing, to a 12 or 13 year old boy.

Often times in large cities you lose a human connection with those around you. The people next to you morph into a massive horde of Other. People stop being people. They start being Not You. That was not the case last night. Each dancer was acknowledge as being a separate, skilled individual by the group. It was almost overwhelming how undiluted everyone’s positivity was. Regardless of your skill level, you were encouraged. Period. That’s an attitude that more people, especially in creative fields, should adopt. Life shouldn’t be a competition. It should be a party. Everyone should be having fun. The will and drive to better one’s self shouldn’t be an external mandate. It should be an internal dictation.



More lettered pages are coming in. I wish I could show you, but I feel like I’ve already shown almost the entire first issue both here and on the Facebook fan page. We should be rolling out the page next week or so. I’m just being overly cautious. I don’t want to have the pages stop and start. You understand.

Comics, man. They take forever.


The title is from my favorite musical. Five points.


Until Next Time,

Dave Baker

Hollywood, Ca 2013


Look. Something’s Burning.

Momentum Is Key

I find that whenever I stop doing something of a little while it takes me a bit to get back into the swing of it. Case in point, comics. I’ve been banging my head against the wall attempting to crack this third Action Hospital script for a while now and then yesterday, I sat down, wrote it, and started drawing it. Biff bang Boom. All there.

Unused cover for the Pitch

Unused cover for the Pitch

Making comics is kinda like dating. Only with less sex. You’ll see why I say that in a moment.

So, Action Hospital #3 has unintentionally been in the making for a while now. About a year ago another writer and myself started working on a comic together. For the sake of anonymity we’ll just call him Captain Awesome. At that stage in my life I had just stopped working with my longtime writer pal/wookie life partner/bff/whathaveyou. I wasn’t looking to have a serious ‘writer-relationship-partnership’ style thing. I was just looking to hang out, make a pitch for a comic, and see if we could sell it. I was pretty upfront about it. I enjoyed co-writing with Captain Awesome a lot. He was fun, we had a lot in common, and our script came out really well, I thought. So, I set to making the pages. I really put a lot of effort into those first five pages. Those were the pages we were going to use to pitch the book to publishers.


I finished the first five pages and we went to a convention together to network, meet editors, and try and get some feedback on the pages before digitally submitting to the usual publishing companies. Over the course of the convention I brought up that if we didn’t sell our book, I wasn’t really interested in drawing a whole six issue mini series. Captain Awesome didn’t take that too well. Now, full disclosure, this was his first comic. So, I’m not really sure if he fully comprehended just how long a six issue mini would take to complete. At the pace I was drawing it probably would have taken me 8 months to do six issues. That was not at all what I was shooting to do.

Super blurry pencils!

Super blurry pencils!

Captain Awesome didn’t like what I was saying. So, the project died. I’ve had these really awesome pages laying around for a long time and I just haven’t really known what to do with them.


Until now, I decided to take the pages that I made with Captain Awesome and re-write them. I’m using them as an intro into a new story. It’s pretty fun. I’m in the middle of drawing the new Joan-centric pages currently. The story, when it’s all finished, should be around 16 pages long. So, it’ll be our first Giant Sized Action Hospital!

The drawing is going pretty well. I’m a bit rusty when it comes to lay outs. Other than that, things are progressing fairly well.


Space: The Final Place You Can Be Shitty To People That Don’t Look Like You

As I’ve been drawing/writing/masterminding/being a nerd, I’ve started watching Star Trek: Voyager. When I was a kid I remember watching Voyager and hating it. I remember hating Janeway’s voice with a passion. Now that I’m a psudeo-manchildadultthing I actually don’t mind it. It’s an interesting character element.


I love the idea that we’re on a ship with a female captain. It only to like four TV shows and 7 movies to get to that point, but whatever. Woman captain. I’m down with it.

Recently, I’ve been reinvestigating DS9 and I love it. Ben Sisco is the coolest dude ever. I love the show, the cast, the station. It’s great. What’s not great? The space jews. Yes, the Ferengi were in TNG but they weren’t untrustworthy, thieving assholes. They were just shitty slavers with whips. They where one dimensional. Quark, the main ferengi in DS9, is borderline a racial cartoon. He’s almost an anti-simetic poster child. He has screwed up teeth, a big nose, and he’s money hungry. It’s so disgusting. People bitch and moan about how JJ Abrams’ Star Trek isn’t Trek because it’s not about the enduring spirit of man or about how tolerance and love are the only blah blah blah. Fuck that. The Ferengi are persecuted and openly mocked by Star Fleet officers all throughout DS9.

During the first 30 seconds that Harry Kim, the new tech officer in Voyager, is introduced Quark attempts to swindle him. Kim responds ‘They warned us about Ferengi at the academy’. Quark gets super upset and calls Harry Kim a racist and threatens to report him to Star Fleet high command. Harry Kim, seeking to calm Quark down offers to buy all the trinkets that Quark is selling. This is where another Star Fleet officer steps in as says, ‘these aren’t worth anything. Don’t give this Ferengi your money, Ensign.’ As their walking away the officer turns to Harry Kim and says ‘Didn’t they warn you about the Ferengi at the Academy?’

What is this? Star Fleet has institutionalized racism? Or speciesism? or whatever? What is it with the bigotry towards the ferengi in Star Trek? C’mon, Star Trek. I expect more of you. No culture is singularly one-dimensional.

If there’s ever another Star Trek tv show, I’m going to pitch 9,000 ferengi centric stories.


The title of this blog post is from a book about Super Spies, a three headed monk/robot, and time traveling green skinned woman. I think it’s fairly obvious what I’m referring to. No points for you.


Until next time,

Dave Baker

Hollywood, Ca 2013


Even If Flavor Flave Was In It

Well, Action Hospital is on it’s way… sort of.

Robert draws THE BEST plant/human hybrid cabbage armor.

Robert draws THE BEST plant/human hybrid cabbage armor.

Robert and I are hard at work on the pages. Currently we’ve to the first issue all penciled, inked, and mostly lettered. We should be rolling those out soon. We’re just waiting on some finished lettered pages, and some minor tweaks.  I suppose I should clarify something. Our Action Hospital ‘issues’ are going to be 8 pages long. So you should be getting a beginning, middle, and an end… and maybe a cliffhanger. In 8 pages. So the first issue is all wrapped up, it’s almost ready to go. We’ll probably hold off a bit before we start posting them, just cause, like I said, we have some minor lettering stuff we’re waiting on.


The second issue is all written. Robert has it, and he’s starting to work on it. So, hopefully, I’ll have more to show you soon. Preeeeeeviews. They’re the best, man. I love doing sneak peaks and previews. They’re intoxicating.


So, where does that leave me? Working on the third issue of Action Hospital. Writing, writing, writing. For Action Hospital #3 we’re trying something a bit more complex. Robert and I are BOTH drawing it. That is to say, we’ll both be working of of the script that I wrote. So that’ll be interesting. I’ve rewritten the thing like twelve times. For real. I have no idea what other people’s process is like or if my process is ass-backwards but I definitely find myself changing my mind a lot. I discover cooler/newer/better ways to tell the story. For me writing is kind of like applying for a job on Craig’s list. You get your resume just right (my outline), then you send it out (actually writing), then you don’t hear back (get dissatisfied with what you just wrote), so you apply for another job (write it again) and so on and so on. I do this over and over and over again. It’s probably not healthy or productive.


Let me give you an example:

Each Action Hospital artist has a cast of characters. Robert has Younger and I have a nurse called Joan Michelle Basquiat. Currently there are no other Action Hospital artists, but there may be in the near future. You never know. Joan, a nurse who is gifted with True-Sight, which is basically just seeing in John-Michelle Basquiat paintings, is my central character. Initially, she was going to be struggling against an antagonist named Sharkerham Lincoln, a clone-hybrid Abraham Lincoln and a shark. I couldn’t get the story to work in such a small page count. I wrote this three times. Then I decided to have Joan help out an embittered politician. To, for lack of better words, regain his soul or, y’know, get his political groove back. I rewrote that twice trying to make it work. I never really did.


Evil politician who ‘gets his groove back’?

Now, I think I’ve finally figured it out. I’m having Joan help a boy detective realize that he doesn’t need to follow in his overbearing father’s footsteps. We’ll see where it goes. Here’s hoping this is the last time I re-write this darned thing.





So, let’s get into why this one is more complex, other than the fact that I’ve re-written it like 12 times. Robert and I are going to do an Image United deal. We’re each going to draw on the same boards. We’re going to each draw our characters on the different pages. That meaning, if Younger shows up in my story, she’s only drawn by Robert. If Joan shows up she’s only drawn by me. I’m hoping that it’ll really feel like an important event whenever one of our characters shows up. We probably won’t be doing it a ton, just because of the logistical requirements, but I think It’ll be a fun little side note that we can throw into our narratives every once and a while.


I’ve been watching Venture Bros. a lot lately. Partially to bone up for an interview that I had at Titmouse, the company that makes Venture Bros, and partially because the fifth season just concluded.

This may sound strange but I find myself interested more in the people who make the stories I consume than the stories themselves. Specifically, Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick, the co-creators of the Venture Bros. All throughout watching the show this season I found myself stopping episodes, searching youtube for interviews with Doc and Jackson, and rapidly consuming every odd observation they made about Liam Neeson and David Bowie. I suppose, for me, the stories people create are more of a conduit to them. Rather than an escapist past time.

When you work at home, as I do being a writer, you find yourself going a little stir crazy. You find yourself attempting to talk to the cute cashier girl at the grocery store. You find yourself trying to connect with the waiter who barely speaks english at your favorite vietnamese restaurant. You’re starved for human connection so you start attempting to connect with anyone around you. You can’t help it. Your brain just says, ‘That’s a person. Talk to them. Become friends.’ Even when that’s probably not exactly what you should be doing.

I take it really personally when people I admire go off the deep end and start spouting off about crazy shit. I’m looking at your Frank Miller and Mark Millar. I can’t read anything Millar writes anymore. His comments about women, his decision in Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall to have Dave beat the shit out of two mentally handicapped adults, and basically everything he’s been involved with recently have just made me really sad. I used to love Mark Millar. He was fun, edgy, and his books were always top notch. Now? He’s writing for a select group of really angry, emotionally stunted, sexually frustrated men. I want to part of it. Frank Miller? He’s a comics god among men. But you know what? After he said that shit about the Occupy Wall street protesters I made a vow never to buy another book of his again. What happens to creators when they get old? Frank Miller seemed like such a cool, smart, down to earth dude in the 80’s and 90’s and then all of a sudden he just went crazy. And don’t say it’s the movies. Have you read Dark Knight Strikes Again? There’s crazy in there. It’s not as bad but there’s crazy. I’m just so saddened by the whole affair.

I don’t know if I’m alone in this but I use the momentum generated by someone’s story to connect with them. I’m sure there are far easier ways to connect with people. Shit, online dating and the consumption of alcohol are how most people do it, right? Well, I guess I’m just to cerebrally idiotic to indulge in either of those pastimes. So, that only leaves me with a laptop, some On Her Majesty’s Secret Service audio commentary, and a frozen pizza.


I’d be lying if I told you that I was anything other than ecstatic about this project. Getting pages back from Robert is like Christmas. I’m writing about things that I’m deeply, deeply passionate about, and there’s a shit ton of onomatopoeia jokes. And who doesn’t fucking love onomatopoeia jokes?


Well, then you shouldn’t be readying this comic. Because there’s gonna be a veritable ass ton of them. And I, for one, am excited for them. I’m also excited to see the characters that Robert and I have been slaving away on for months alive and walking around the internets. I can’t wait.


Hopefully, you’ll love these characters as much as we do.


The title of this blog post comes from the Venture Brothers. Five points if you can name the episode.


Dave Baker

Hollywood, Ca 2013



If You Need To Use Guitars, Use Guitars.

Comics take forever.

I feel like I’ve aged ten years since the last time I put out a comic that I was truly proud of. It would seem that those are the two constants in my life, recently. Age and comics. Seemingly the older I get the quicker I age. Yes, I realize that I’m still young and virile and have my whole life ahead of me and blah blah blah but, I’m not going to lie. I feel like 9,000 years old.

Man, this is a depressing intro.

Let’s start again. And this time with a thin veneer of jubilation

Hello, dear reader!

You’re about to start reading the first issue-ish of Action Hospital featuring our beloved plant wielding pre-teen Younger The Vine Walker!

Younger face sketches

Robert’s first sketches of Younger

Action Hospital and Younger have been rolling around in my head for quite some time. I suppose to give you an accurate depiction of where this creative journey has gone and just how long it has taken I should start at the beginning.


Robert’s sketches of Younger’s plant-sister/brother Sibling

The first time the words Action and Hospital entered my head were in my ratty little apartment on Park Ave in San Diego, California. I was listening to an interview with comics writer extraordinaire Matt Fraction when the host asked him a question that sounded like, “Have you ever visited the Action Hospital?” Undoubtedly, the actual question was nothing of the sort but the misheard phrase ‘Action Hospital ‘ stuck in by brain. A few days after this my partner left our humble abode for a weekend trip to see friends. I was left at our house, with a stack of comics and no real responsibilities. So, what did I do? I read comics in my underwear until 2 am.

Plant armor first pass

Robert pretty much nailed the ‘cabbage armor’ on his first try.

At the time I was reading a lot of titles. Probably more than my internet startup writers paycheck could reasonably afford. But, nevertheless, I was reading a bunch of books. As I always do, I saved my favorite book for last. Casanova. If you haven’t read Casanova, do yourself a favor and go buy it. Today. It’s astoundingly good.

Let’s digress for a second. I feel that to properly digest the story which I’m currently in the midst relaying to you it is of paramount importance that you understand my relationship with Casanova. Matt Fraction, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon’s Casanova is my all time favorite comic book. But it’s more than that. It’s a strangely lovable recurring character in the painfully banal sitcom that is my life. It’s helped me through extremely trying times. It’s assisted me in more ways than I’d like to admit. The book intersects with my life in very, very strange ways. The first volume served as the background noise to my creative break up.  It functioned in the same way a record does when you’re deciding to leave someone. You always think of that person when you hear the record.

That is to say, I used to make comics with someone that I hold very near and dear to my heart. Casanova inspired us to create a five issue mini series about a time traveling spy. Over the course of those five issues my relationship with my collaborator deteriorated into a husk of what it once was. Currently, we are not on speaking terms. This is a fact that I have very mixed feelings about.

Ok, let’s get back on course. I’m sitting on my bed in my 0.5 bedroom apartment and I’m reading Casanova: Aviritia #4. It’s the final issue of the third arc. It’s the book that has been delayed for months. It’s the comic I’ve been dying to read since who knows when. And It’s here. In my hands. I open it up and it’s an injection of pure cocaine straight into my brain meat. I’m on cloud nine for the entire issue. And then I reach the last page. And Casanova Quinn, inter-dimensional superspy, is standing in front of the Hollywood sign.

And it hits me. This is where I have to move. I have to go to Hollywood. I have to escape the bizarre, crack head filled life that I’m living and I have to go to Hollywood. Casanova is starring off the page at me. Practically daring me to do it. To go to Hollywood.

I feel like I’ve been hit by a freight train. I wander around the apartment stunned into silence.  After a few minutes of pacing in circles I flip to the end of the issue and start perusing the letters column. There it is. My letter. The letter that I sent to Fraction almost four months previous. I’m in Casanova.

I dropped the book and started writing. I started writing a screenplay called The Action Hospital.

Plant armor again

Younger The Vine Walker, ladies and gents.

That was almost an entire year ago. Action Hospital has changed shapes multiple times since then. It started as a screenplay, then morphed into a four issue mini, then was completely retooled and reconstructed into what you see before you. The story of Younger the Vine Walker and her many compatriots in the Action Hospital.

There you have it. That’s how we got here. From San Diego to Hollywood to your computer screen.

Comics, man. They take forever.


At this juncture I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge my collaborator on this project, my co-pilot, and Younger’s co-creator Robert Negrete.

I met Robert at the weekly Drink and Draw at Casey’s Bar and Grill in Downtown Los Angeles. His illustrative capabilities are on display for all to see in this issue. He’s the real reason that this comic was birthed. His skill is on display on every page of this issue.

Robert took my billion little ideas and synthesized them into a real thing. Into a breathing, living thing. He synthesized them into Younger. No one could draw this book but Robert. Look at Younger’s costume design. Even Mark Silvestri with all his assistants would be crazy to design something that intricate.

I’ll never know why or how Robert puts up with my crazy hair brained ideas but he does. And he ushers them into reality with a diligent hand and a critical eye.


Finally, in the tradition of Casanova, let’s talk for a moment about the influences behind Younger and Action Hospital.

The Cosby Show

The Cosby Show is the greatest sitcom of all time. It was not only pan culturally comedic but it was poignant. Yes, it was ground breaking due to its all African American cast but it was also ground breaking in that it treated its characters as real people and not inflatable plot points.

Kamen Rider Amazon

Japan’s long running super hero television show Kamen Rider (Masked Rider) is one of my favorite pieces of pop culture. Especially, Kamen Rider Amazon, in which a child who was raised in the Amazon Jungle travels to Japan in order to protect it from the evil Ten Headed Demon. Yes, the show is as crazy as it sounds.


Growing up I loved Tarzan. Then I hit 15 and discovered that it was a white power allegory and lost my mind. Younger is my vain attempt at spitting on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ grave by subverting the Tarzan archetype by creating a character that is not white, nor male and yet is just as powerful and awesome.



Never in a million years did I expect to love Kirkman and McFarlane’s Haunt half as much as I do. The concept of two people being trapped in one super powered body is delightful.


Extra tidbit: the title to this post is a Depeche Mode reference. Five points to anyone who can figure it out.


Until next time,

Dave Baker

Hollywood, Ca 2013