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Check it out! Right on time with photos from Baltimore Comicon 2011! I rule! (yeah, don't expect this to be a habit.)
Anyway, Max and I went to Baltimore Comicon last weekend. As you can see from today's comic as well as the main photo on this entry, we not only took Sarah with us, but we also brought Riley along to her very first comic book convention. Some of you might remember that Riley was supposed to be with us in Pittsburgh this year, but a mishap with her uniform meant she couldn't make it. That problem was remedied however and she was available at the Cosmic Hellcats booth to take photos with our fans all last weekend. As you can see from this photo as well as the Cosmos from today, Riley's inaugural trip was not without a bit of adventure, but hopefully she agrees to come to future shows nonetheless.
Lots of people showed up for the costly contest this year, so I have even more photos than normal. No complaints. I'm always amazed at what people come up with.
Baltimore was a great show and we look forward to going back next year.
If you have any photos with us or the girls from Baltimore Comicon (or any of the others we've gone to) please mail them to us at email@example.com so we can post them here.
Thank you to everyone who came out to meet us this weekend, and watch this space for updates to other conventions that we'll be attending.
Ok, these are late, but not as late as the Baltimore Comicon 2010 pics I posted yesterday.
Pittsburgh Comicon 2011 was way back in April. Max and I were joined by Chaste and Delilah for this one. Delilah was nice enough to come out in costume even though she wouldn't actually be debuting in the comic for several more months at that point.
Among the other photos here, you'll see a couple that I'm particularly happy about. I got a chance to get my photo taken with comics legends Jim Starlin and George Pérez. Starlin, in particular is of note because without his work on Dreadstar the whole concept of space epic comics might not even exist. And so without that, there'd certainly be no Hellcats. Both he and Pérez were great to meet as was everyone else at the con (just like always). Pittsburgh is the hometown show for Max and I, so it's always a lot of fun.
I want to give a special shout out to Chewbacca pictured in the main pic with me here. He won the annual Cosplay contest, and by all rights he absolutely should have. The entire costume was handmade and maybe the best convention outfit I've ever seen.
I'll be back tomorrow with a special Cosmos from Baltimore Comicon 2011 and that should have us completely caught up on con pics.
Yes, that's right, 2010!
Max and I went to Baltimore Comicon 2011 last weekend (more on that soon) and while I was going through all the pictures I took at it, I realized that I'm a horrible awful person and I never got around to posting the pictures I took last year at Baltimore Comicon 2010. Better late than never, right?
Well, it's going to have to be!
Anyway, I figured I might as well do that now. And tomorrow I'll put up pics from Pittsburgh Comicon 2011. And then by Saturday, I should be caught up with pics from Baltimore Comicon 2011.
You know, assuming I don't slack off more. (I'm trying not to... I promise!)
It's been a while since I put up a new sketch. But I thought it'd be nice to celebrate my birthday (tomorrow) by linking you to something I did recently, another submission to Nick Marino's Project Basement.
The theme this time around was iconic costumes and powers, so, as I sat at my table at Pittsburgh Comicon (I get all my best sketching done just sitting around at comicon), I decided to play on my Wacom Cintiq tablet and see what I came up with. This quick sketch of Spider-man uses the background that Max had designed for the introduction to Katt & Dawg in the current story arch (I had just finished coloring it, and figured why not?). The Spidey sketch itself was done from start to finish on the tablet. Click the image for my explanation of why I chose Spidey on Nick's site.
Since I had some more time on my hands, I also did a Psylocke sketch wich you can see and learn my reasons for why on Nick's site as well.
Hope you like them, and we'll see you back here tomorrow for the next part of Da Kitty Code, featuring an unexpected return. (Or maybe expected if you've REALLY been paying attention)
Image via Wikipedia
(Note: this is long. If you're not going to read it all, please make sure you help us by joining the facebook group!)
If you're reading this, then one can assume that you're probably a fan of mine (or more accurately of our tiny little webcomic here), but just in case you stumble upon this little rant some other way, let me introduce myself. My name is Christopher Maverick, or "Mav" for short and I write the comic strip this site is devoted to, Cosmic Hellcat Adventures (I'm also a photographer and the artist on the little mini-story that's running here right now, but that's another story). Anyway, like most random yahoos on the internet that write/draw a webcomic, I'm a lifelong comic book geek. I've been throwing my hard earned money into this "addiction" for the past thirty years. Countless thousands of dollars over that time. And like any good comic book addict, I haven't regretted it for a second.
But like most comic geeks, I'm overly invested in the characters that I read about every month. Quite unhealthily so, in fact. Every Wednesday, or as "my people like to call it" new comic day, I take a trip to my local comic shop (in my case, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Phantom of the Attic) to "score" and while I'm there I waste an hour or so of my life talking with my fellow geeks about the latest goings on in fictional universes and with the companies that control them.
As one might assume, lately a big topic of conversation at the store these days has been DC Comics recent decision to reboot their Universe.
Now for starters, I'm not a big fan of retcons. In fact I hate them. But whatever, if they're done well, I'll forgive them. After all, in today's comics, it's essentially a fact of life, especially in "the Big Two". If a comic character survives long enough, some new writer is going to come in and revamp them. I'm even less of a fan of canceling and restarting comic series. It's a cheap sales ploy. Hey, no one wants to buy issue #237 but you know what they will want to buy? A special collectors edition issue #1! Who cares if it's volume #17, right? it's still a number one. Sigh...
But you know what would impress me a lot more than a special collectors item issue #1? A special collectors item issue #1000! Action Comics is actually really close. They're in the 900s. I'm not a Superman fan at all. But you know what? If they made it to #1000, I'd be the first person in line at the store to pick it up. BUT, in their infinite wisdom, DC is canceling it with issue #904, to restart the numbering with #1 the very next month. It makes perfect sense you see. I mean it would take 8 more years to get to #1000 at one a month. We can have a #1 NOW!!!! Sure, we've invested exactly 73 years in getting this far. But eight more years to reach the most monumental milestone in the history of this industry? Who has that kind of time?
And you know what would impress me even more than an issue #1000? A FUCKING GOOD STORY! Apparently that's too much to ask.
And that brings me to my point. Actually, there ARE good comic book stories. Like I said, that's why I'm a comic book fan in the first place. And do you know what my absolute favorite comic being published by DC is right now? You'd probably never guess. It's Batgirl!
Batgirl has everything I love about comic book superheroes. An engaging story, good characters and respect for the shared continuity of the universe that those characters live in. Its the story of a girl destined to be a hero. Not for revenge. Not out of guilt. Not because the world hates and fears her. She's a hero for one and one reason only. Because that's what she wants to be. Stephanie Brown started her career as "The Spoiler," a teenaged girl, pregnant, who was the daughter of a career criminal and determined to rebel against her father by becoming a hero. She gives up the baby for adoption in order to give it a better life. Batman himself tells her to hang up the tights. She stands up to him and refuses. She's so headstrong that eventually he decides to make her the new "Robin." Why? Because he realizes that she's a hero. She's going out there no matter what, better to train her so she doesn't get herself killed. Eventually, the braintrust at DC decided to kill her off. She was so popular that the people demanded they bring her back again. From here she goes on to become the new Batgirl.
As Batgirl, she teams up with Barbara Gordon, currently Oracle, but previously, DC's second (and commonly considered original) Batgirl. Barbara was introduced in 1966 as Batgirl, and in one of my favorite comics ever, the graphic novel, The Killing Joke, she was paralyzed, shot through the spine by the Joker, in a poignant moment that effectively killed Batgirl and gave birth to Oracle, a wheelchair bound heroine who solves problems with her brain instead of her brawn. As Oracle, Barbara would go on to become arguably one of the most powerful and important characters in the DC Universe. When written correctly, she was a deep and insightful multi-facetted character. Long since one of my favorites. Barbara, realizing Stephanie's potential, decides to take her under her wing as the new Batgirl and further her training so that she might one day become one of DCs greatest heroes.
The interplay between the two women, a hero just starting out, and one long retired, has made for innovative story telling. In a way, it beckons back to the interplay between Batman and Nightwing but from a refreshing female point of view. A grizzled veteran with a ton of baggage attempting to train and relate to a headstrong optimistic teen Also both of the leads have unique outlooks on life. In other words, it's great.
And so it's been cancelled.
DC has decided that what people really want to see is Barbara Gordon back in tights as the original Batgirl. Starting in September, she'll be staring in a relaunched Batgirl #1 with no mention of Stephanie whatsoever.
This destroys not one, but two characters. Stephanie is once again apparently being relegated to comic book limbo. Barbara on the other hand is being regressed to the character that she was 23 years ago. I have a multitude of problems with this, First, as is obvious from what I've written so far, I love the Stephanie Brown character. I don't want to see her go away. I think there's still a lot of exploration that can be made out of her struggle to become a hero.
Second, the Barbara Gordon character has spent the last 23 years overcoming the stereotypes of her handicap. Using her mind and the human spirit she has proven that she can become DC's greatest hero without ever throwing a punch. She's an icon to the physically disabled. But even ignoring that, the message DC is sending is insulting to women as a whole. Barbara Gordon was a second rate character (at best) as Batgirl for 22 years, since then she has spent the past 23 (1 year longer than she was Batgirl) establishing herself as Oracle, a strong character in her own right, independent of the specter of Batman. So why regress her? It's like a 40 year old professional woman has suddenly decided to give up her career as college professor to return to her high school job as a waitress. Its insulting. Gail Simone (the woman who will write the title and has written Barbara's series Birds of Prey quite well for years) tried to address some of my concerns in an interview with another blogger that complained about it. But didn't really do so to my satisfaction. And on top of that implied (unintentionally I'm sure) that the best thing that could happen to a disabled person, is through surgery and hard work, to one day walk again, which basically undermines everything she's ever written about the characters accomplishments despite her handicap.
But DC has made up their minds on Barbara. There's clearly nothing that can be done. One of my favorite characters is simply going to go poof in a puff of smoke. I'm a firm believer in the idea that you can't dismiss a concept without giving it a fair chance. And I like Gail Simone as a writer, but I'm not optimistic. There's a great chance that I'll just be dropping my comic shop subscriptions to every DC title come this September. We'll see.
But it's not too late for Stephanie. As far as anyone can tell, DC has no obvious plans for her whatsoever. I was discussing this with my friend (and fellow indy comic creator) Wayne Wise, who works at the comic shop earlier today and we've come up with a plan. Normally, we'd hate to just give away a concept like this to DC Comics free of charge and all, but dammit, this is something we really want. (And hey, if you want to hire us to write it, we're available)
Earlier I compared Stephanie to Dick Grayson, Nightwing. One thing I really like about this DC reboot is that they are returning Dick, who's currently running around as a substitute Batman, to his own persona of Nightwing. What I like about this is that Dick is his own man. He's grown into a hero on his own that is separate and different than Bruce Wayne, and there's no reason for him to live under that shadow and try to emulate him. He's a different character with different motivations, but still related to the Batman mythos (the name Nightwing being a golden age analog of Batman). Dick took the alias and made it his own.
What if Stephanie did the same thing. What if either on her own or under the tutelage of Dick Grayson she finally became her own hero, with similar light connections to the Batman mythos. Wayne and I discussed this and finally I came up with the concept for her. She can be the new Flamebird. The original Flamebird was a golden age analog of Robin, connected to the original Nightwing. Once Dick became Nightwing, however, the alias was adopted by the Golden Age Batgirl (Barbara, while commonly considered to be the first Batgirl is actually the second) in a retcon. But that character, Betty Kane, is seldom referenced today (she's a tertiary character in the current Batwoman comic, which I don't care about at all). Let Stephanie adopt that alias and live on and grow in it, either as Dick's partner (not sidekick) or on her own.
At least that way there can be one comic that I know I want to read in this reboot.
Are you with me? Comment here, and join the facebook petition group that I've created for the cause. Hopefully if enough fans do, then maybe DC will take notice of us. It worked for Betty White!
You might have noticed that today's comic isn't so much a comic as it is a cover. You might also have noticed that it's drawn by me and not Max and not in our usual Hellcat style. There's a good reason for that. Max has been a little overworked trying to keep up with the current storyline, as well as his day job and his band, Shutterdown (which if you haven't heard them, you should check them out). Anyway, he needed a little bit of a break and asked me if I could find a way to give him one.
In the meantime, I'd been working on a solo comic project for a while. You might remember I mentioned it late last year in an announcement. I called it Katt and Dawg. The idea was that in much the same as Cosmic Hellcats is a spoof of sci-fi, anime and manga, it'd be neat to do something in the same universe that was a spoof of grim and gritty adult titles like Sin City. What if there was a former Hellcat, who became disillusioned with the Squadron and left? What if she became an expatriate, and lived in a dark crime ridden world where killing, promiscuity and uncensored four letter words were a way of life. And since she's a catgirl, what if that world was filled with the one thing that could make her even more of an outside. Dogs!
I've been working on it on and off since then, having done the pencilling on 24 hour comics day, and inking and painting it in my free time (what little there is of it) since then. I'm STILL not done, but hopefully someday soon I will be and it will be available for purchase from the Hellcat bookstore along with our other print comics (which you should certainly buy if you enjoy the site and want to support us).
In the meantime, I'm sure you've noticed that Katt and Dawg have shown up in the current storyline, joining Chaste, the Professor, Minerva and Horace on their attempt to open the Ark of Felinia.
But who are Katt and Dawg? How did a former Hellcat cadet end up on the crime ridden streets of Kaneon-3, partnered with a hard-boiled canine private eye with a penchant for pugilism (I've been taking hyperbole lessons from Stan Lee)? Well, that's what I'm going to be explaining over the next three weeks in a short mini-arch called "Raining Katt and Dawg."
The concept had to be modified a little bit to fit within Max and my self-imposed guidelines for the website. No nudity, no swear words. But I wanted to keep the tone and style as close to what I had always envisioned as possible. So for the next three weeks, please bear with me while we explore the decidedly PG-13 world of Katt and Dawg (and of course, please comment, since this is the first extended solo work I'm doing, I'm really looking forward to hearing what people think).
Oh, one last thing, much like the Hellcats (and the Starfoxes), Katt Tuesday is modeled after a realife model. So as a special bonus, I thought I'd throw a picture of her up here. Admit it, that's the only reason you're even looking at this blog entry, isn't it?
I am pleased to announce that we have in fact found three winners for our Kitty Code Contest. Not only are all three regular readers of the strip, but all three are regular enough readers that we've based characters in the comic on them.
First place went to TomKane of Texas. Tom has been reading the strip since the beginning, and we based the pirate T'Kane on him. Tom wrote in less than two hours after the strip went up and scored a perfect 16 out of 16 with the clues on the Professor's wall.
Second place went to Jameel of Pennsylvania. This is appropriate as the character of Prof AlKhafiz (who made the wall) is based on him. Jameel scored at 15.5 out of 16.
Finally, third place went to Bairdduvessa of South Carolina, of whom, the rigellian B'rd D'vessa is obviously named after. Baird managed to score 15 out of 16 correct answers.
All three will receive a copy of the the third issue of Cosmic Hellcat Adventures (collecting the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Doomsday arc) signed by both Max and myself.
And now the answers to the clues:
- a movie poster from the film "12 Monkeys"
- a photo of Admiral Kitty Hawk
- The shadowed silhouetted of Garfield the Cat, currently being used as an avatar by the mysterious Tabby Cat in this story arc.
- a photo of Albert Einstein
- The Vitruvian Man by Leonardo Da Vinci
- The seal of the Freemasons
- an explanation of wormhole based time travel featuring the Tardis from Doctor Who
- Calvin and Hobbes in a time machine made from a cardboard box
- a movie poster from the film "Hot Tub Time Machine"
- the Klein Bottle ship that is home to Jessi and Junior from the "A Giant Mess" story arc.
- Doc Brown's first sketch of the Flux Capacitor from the film "Back to the Future"
- H.G. Wells' Time Machine from the film of the same name.
- "The Last Supper" by Leonardo Da Vinci
- the Speed Formula utilized by Johnny Quick (and his daughter Jesse)
- the time traveling DeLorean, again from the film "Back to the Future"
- the Ancient Pyramids at Giza (or in this storyline Kaneon-9)
If you've been paying attention, some of these things have already made appearances in the current storyline, others are clues to things that are still to come. We hope you're enjoying the story so far. Keep commenting on the comics or writing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
So if you've been reading Cosmic Hellcats from the beginning, you might have noticed that we're fond of hiding random pop culture references in the artwork. You might have noticed that we've done something like that today. Well, it's not really random. You see, the Professor has been hard at work collecting clues for their current mission. That's what's hanging on the wall in the final panel of today's comic.
Max and I have decided to run a contest. We're giving away three signed copies of the recently released Cosmic Hellcat Adventures #3, which collects the third year of stories from the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Doomsday arc. All you have to do to win is be one of the first three people to correctly identify all 16 clues hidden on the wall and mail them to us at email@example.com with the subject "CrackingDaKittyCode." if you're one of the first three people and you have all of the answers right, we'll mail you back and ask for your address and send you a signed copy. Don't post your guesses to this entry or the comic or you'll be giving the answers away.
Pretty easy, huh?
To make it easier, you can click the image on this entry to see a large version of the panel. Once we have three winners, I'll post another blog entry telling everyone who won and what the answers were.
And if you don't know all of the answers, Issue #3 is still available for purchase from IndyPlanet along with all of our other comics on the bookstore page.
If you don't know them all for sure. Go ahead and take a guess. If we don't have three winners by June 16th, we'll award the prizes to whoever got closest.
If you enjoy reading Cosmic Hellcats on the web, and if you're reading this, then I figure you must, we'd like to ask you to please consider buying the print versions of the comics from the Hellcats bookstore.
And if you've already bought some previously, well, thank you for the money, but also and more importantly, you'd probably like to know that we have now released the third issue of Cosmic Hellcat Adventures, "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Doomsday," for purchase as well. Do you remember where you were when you first learned of the Lord High Inquisitor's plot to destroy the universe? How about when you first met the Starfoxes. Or how about that one time Frank said something smart. Well now you can relive it all in paperback form for the low low price of $5.99. Exciting, huh?
All of the previous issues ("A Giant Mess" and "Ninjas vs. Pirates", plus the anthologies and the print only intro story) are also still available, so please, if you enjoy the comic head over here and buy a couple of them. They're way more fun to read that way. We promise.
Cosmic Hellcats is brought to you by our featured sponsor: