Written and Illustrated by Dave Baker
Written and Illustrated by Dave Baker
Written and Illustrated by Dave Baker
The State of the Future-Union
The Action Hospital is going strong, ladies and gentlemen.
We’re currently in the middle of our second issue, six pages in to an 18 page story to be precise. In case you forgot, I’m writing and drawing the currently sprawling epic about Boy Detectives, Yakuza, Robot Arms, and super-powered nurses.
After that we have Action Hospital Issue 3 staring Mallory Sloan, Satanic Super-Sergion written by me and drawing by the one and only Clay Murrell.
Mallory is the resident ‘nothing can fix this, fuckit. Send ’em to Mallory Sloan’ doctor. When nothing can be done, they call her. She doesn’t come cheap but she’s worth every penny. When pitching Mallory to Clay I described her as
Clay drew the fuck out of these pages. They’re stunning. He captured the countless eccentricities of Mallory with just a few pen storks.
In issue Three we also have the first black pope, Pope Shotgun the 1st.
Clay really outdid himself on the pages. Just look for yourself!
Action Hospital issue three is going to be off the chain. Satanist magic, a black pope, and super science. What more could you want? Nothing. That’s what. Action Hospital has literally everything you could ever want in a comic book EVER.
Ok, that might be a little extreme.
Younger and Younger
Meanwhile, over in Robert Negrete’s world:
Robert is only a few pages away from finishing INKING issue four. That’s right. INKING. Holy moly, that guy is so good and he’s really learning how to move quickly and effectively. Look at that lay out. Dope, right? Yeah. Dope.
In a distant galaxy…
While Robert and Clay are kicking ass and taking names on their pages, I’m slowly moving through mine. I’m currently writing and drawing issue 5, which will see the return of Albert, Joan, and the cast of characters from the currently being serialized issue two.
My pages look something like this. Lots of weird creatures, dudes in space suits/robot costumes, and tons of panels.
And call outs. Can’t forget how popular the call outs have been. Everybody seems to love those. Which is good! Cause I love drawing them.
Robits, man. SPAAAAACE Robits. I’m all about them.
Dance Until Your Heart Falls Out
In other news, I’m working on some super fun writing projects outside of comics. SOONER OR LATER I’LL BE ABLE TO TALK ABOUT THEM. Gosh. It kills me.
So, I’ll leave you with this. Justice. Do it.
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.
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.
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:
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,
Hollywood, Ca 2013
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?
Anyway, Nick and I have put our heads together and are currently in the middle of creating a western/kaiju epic titled Creaturelands.
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.
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,
Hollywood, Ca 2013
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.
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.
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,
Hollywood, Ca 2013