Hair today, gone tomorrow.

Yes, the title is horribly cliché and not entire accurate. The hair will not be gone tomorrow. It will be gone March 14th. For those of you wondering what I actually look like, here ya go:

Now then, why is my hair going away? Well there's actually a good reason and that reason is the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Every year people volunteer to get their head's shaved to raise money for research into children's cancer. Shaving one's head is also a sign of solidarity for those kids who's hair falls out due to chemotherapy.

In the past I've donated my hair to Locks for Love, who uses donated hair to make wigs for cancer patients. Now it's time for it all to come off! For anyone reading this who is interested in donating click here.


Not so great expectations

People expect things from you. You expect things from others. You expect things from life. It's a pretty natural thing. Hurricanes are a natural thing too, and like expectations, can lead to disaster.

I'm seeing way too much praise being heaped upon those who are not worthy of it. I criticism condemned as being 'mean spirited'. I work with children. If they want praise they earn it. If they don't meet the standards set they do not advance. I push them. I yell at them. I make them sweat. Their complaints of "that's not fair" are met with laughter. They learn many things from me and the other instructors: if you work, you will progress.

I see this attitude lacking in other aspects of existence. Writers and artists assume that they'll make it big in the comics industry because their friends/family/teachers told them they were good. I've seen dozens of children claim their goal is to go to Japan and draw manga, none of whom have have the ability or work ethic to make that happen. They expect this to happen. It is not their goal. If it was a goal, they'd be working harder.

I'm working on limiting my expectations. Too often I've over-expected only to be disappointed. I like to under promise and over deliver. This is what I must do with my expectations. Do not expect great things, and you'll be surprised by how much greatness you find. This is not disregarding standards. Crap is still crap. You are not special just for showing up. Mediocrity will still be bypassed on my way to superior.

That last line sounds very elitist. I am not an elitist, I am an exceptionalist. I wish to see all things rise to be the best they can be, or at least make the attempt. It's the American Dream. Work hard and do your best and good things will come to you as you earn them.

Unfortunately, that dream is dying. People expect success. They expect praise. They expect a nice house/car/job. They don't want spend hours perfecting their art/craft/trade. They don't want to work at McDonalds while going to school. They don't want swing a hammer all day work of their comics when they get home. They don't want to have to pay their bills.

There are a lot of lazy bastards out there muddying the waters and screwing things up for those who would do their best to succeed. The slackers should just fall by the wayside, but we must be fair. We have to be accepting. We have to help those who aren't as 'lucky' as those who have busted their asses to get what they have.

So for everyone who is expecting something great to happen to you; those waiting for that big break or bail out or helping hand to make your life exactly like you expect it to be: you're all worthless. I know this because i was exactly like you. I was constantly told how smart I was. I was such a great artist. I was such a talented writer. I was stupid enough to listen to it. Then I wised up and got a second opinion from someone who didn't care about me whatsoever. I learned that I had a lot of hard work ahead of me if I wanted to get anywhere.

So, I've got my goals.

I've dumped any expectations about getting a happily ever after.

If I want one, I'll have to build it myself.

Are you building yours?


So, the blog and the site have been quiet. Too quiet.

Here's the deal.

I'm getting geared up to start the third chapter of the current NIGHT LIFE story, so I'm taking a little break to work a few things through. Chris is going ballistic on MERE MORTAL. I've been collaborating with him for nearly ten years now and I can honestly say he's turning out his best work ever.

Got the first installment of a brand new TALES OF NIGHT LIFE up with the return of one of the contributing artists from the first story. She's really rocked out a great piece for me. Thanks, Kat!

I've been chatting with Rob Patey who some of you may recall from "Joe versus Joe". Got a chance to check out some more of his comic AVERAGE JOE including some sweet art samples. I had the chance to check out the script a while back, and I'm glad to see he's got an artist on board that can match how awesome the writing is.

Finally, for those of you out there struggling with your muses and wondering if you'll ever have the chops to make a go of it in the comic field, look here to feel better about yourself.

Will work for food

I'm a very lucky man because my creative skills have been deemed worthy of compensation. This is not something i take lightly. Sure, it's been a goal of mine make a living from these skills that so far has not happened leaving me physical labor, yelling at children to kick higher and hitting hit upside the head with the business end of sharpish metal tools.

However, I've gotten a few bucks here and there for my creative efforts. I've also received other things. I have a wonderful mini-bust of Lady Blackhawk of which there are only two in existence. The other was kept by the sculptor. This I received for a poster I did for her, and I maintain that I got the better end of that deal.

Last weekend I received a package in payment of a poster I did for a delightful young lady in Hawaii. I received SPAM in numerous flavors, very nice coffee, mochi chips, little mushroom shaped confections, a T-shirt with a cross-eyed hula girl on the back of it and a copy of HAWAIIAN DICK. HAWAIIAN DICK is a comic Image put out a while back. It's very good and I highly recommend it. So yeah, I got spoiled rotten.

So in these tough economic times I've come to the determination that while cash is great and always welcome starving artist needs to eat! So may I present:

The Duck and Cover Studios Food Bribery List!
The following is to give everyone a notion of what we'll do and at what cost. Substitutions of equivalent value may be made.

Marty's list
Doodle - one bag of FunYuns

Sketch - obscene amount of Oreos/sammich

Full page pin-up - batch of homemade cookies/dinner at Cracker Barrel

Mini comic - Steak dinner either from restaurant or home grilled

Poster - Full on Thanksgiving style dinner

Full comic - Melting Pot, repeatedly.

Chris's list
Page - Ham and swiss sandwich from Pretzel Plus

Mini comic - 20 wings from beach Pub with double dipping sauces, ranch dressing + bar tab

Full Comic - Sushi dinner including appetizers and desert + bar tab + massage + happy ending

Spread the weird.

Sometimes you have to lie. It's just funnier that way.

Yesterday for instance, I had an accident at work that involved my head having a sudden meeting with the business end of a pry bar. Well, we're working on a beach house and we've got to get this thing sorted so we keep on working. I know I'm bleeding like a stuck pig because whenever you cut your head like I did it bleeds profusely. If you want proof, look at a Ric Flair pro-rasslin' match.

Well, we finish and it's been probably an hour. I feel my eyelid is sticky whenever I blink so I know I look horrible. So, we call it a day and go back to where i parked my car at Home Depot. i retrieve my first-aid kit and some Aleve and walk right through the store to the bathroom. No one bats an eye because I've got the hood of my jacket up and my hair has grown out a bit, so it concealed things.

I'm getting cleaned up, debating to myself whether or not to see about getting stitches. It's about an inch long and is likely going to be a new permanent beauty mark. It's also starting to hurt like hell since I was finally beginning to warm up. Mighty cold working down at the beach yesterday.

A Home Depot employee walks in to use the john. He finishes up and is washing his hands.

Him: "How you doin' today, sir?"

Me: "I'm good. How about yourself."

At this point he sees the gash in my forehead. I had already cleaned all the blood off my face.

Him: "Holy crap, what happened to you?"

Me: "Well, in there tough economic times, I guess that guy thought it was a good idea to try to take my wallet."

Him: "Someone stole your wallet?"

Me: "Nope. Turns out it wasn't such a good idea after all, and I don't care if they do find his teeth."

So, why would I fib like that? Embarrassment over what actually happened? To make myself look like a tough guy? Nah. It's because I know full well that guy is gonna tell his buddies about it and it makes for a much better story. He'll get some surprised looks,and probably a few good laughs. It's more fun that way.

And hell, if folks can have fun over my getting permanently scarred, then really, what can you have fun with nowadays?

Legion Top 10!

As many of you know LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES ended it's run with issue 50, and I called for a letter writing campaign to address this. Well, I've since done a complete 180 on this topic, so without further ado:

The top 10 reasons why Geoff Johns Legion book will be better than the previous Legion book!

10: Johns Legion Brainiac 5 doesn't waste resources heating his lab. That's what his mad scientist coat is for!

9: Lightning Lad and Ultra Boy prove that sleeves are entirely passé.

8: Speaking of clothes, Shadow Lass was wearing way too much before. That's been rectified!

7: Saturn Girl has been long overdue for a butch haircut.

6: Now we get to see Green Lantern 1000 years in the future, because Johns really isn't doing enough Green Lantern stuff.

5: There really aren't enough comics with teenagers that look like they're thirty.

4: The other Legion couldn't go running to Superman to solve all their problems.

3: Johns Legion Karate Kid and Triplicate Girl (well, one of her) were in COUNTDOWN, and we all know how great that was!

2: Lack of content for the last twenty years provide mystery and intrigue!

And finally:

1: Unlike Mark Waid and Jim Shooter, Dan DiDio isn't afraid Geoff Johns will take his job and therefore has job security!

Look to the right.

No this isn't a political post, I mean literally. Look to the right to spot the new name on my blogroll. Why should you do this? Because it's the guy who is so far ahead of the curve on things BATMAN that Dan DiDio can't keep up.

I plug shamelessly, because I care.

Everything else, I do for SPAM, but more on that later.