memo from mars

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“I don’t get blogging.” Someone said that to me recently. What’s there to get? If you ever kept a diary, you get it. Or a dream journal. Or notes while you travel. Or maybe you just pretended to be Captain Kirk and kept an imaginary Captain’s Log.

Stardate: 29 June, 2016.

Halfway through the sixth year on Mars Will Send No More, this blog has outlasted the original five-year voyage of the bloody starship. Thank you, dear reader, for indulging my unhinged rantings about comic books, rough drafts of poems before they get a tune-up, and the never-ending struggle to create an illustration that’s worth a damn.

Strange things happen when you keep a journal. Whether it’s a private diary for your eyes only, or an exploration of something that interests you, you learn. You grow. You change. And you gain a greater perspective on events when you can step back and see where you’ve been.

This blog is a record of things that inspired me—mostly comic books, but also art and music and pop culture artifacts. A few thousand people drop by every day to plunder the archives. They’ve racked up 3.1 million page views since 2011, but they’re a pretty quiet bunch and always leave the archives in order when they leave.

If you’re new to this site and you love comic books even half as much as I do, start with my Top Ten Favorite Single Issues and its follow up Ten More Top Ten Favorites. These lists are also instructive for people who don’t “get” why anyone would be into what many people perceive to be children’s cartoons. You might also be interested in Indie Comics, which includes spotlights on small press comics the creators were kind enough to send for review.

And if you think I’m ending this post without a link to my glorious archive of dinosaur comics, you’re crazy!

now in print: The Lost Crew of the Volya IX

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Meteor Mags continues her space pirate adventures in The Lost Crew of the Volya IX. This 20,000-word story picks up where the collection Red Metal at Dawn left off.

Available in PaperbackKindle. iBookNook Book.Meteor_Mags_The_Los_Cover_for_Kindle

Join Meteor Mags, her cat Patches, and her pirate radio friend, the shotgun-toting Dr. Plutonian, as they face horror in a not-so-abandoned asteroid mine! Thrill to the savage combat of the alien mating ritual practiced by the invading dragons! Rock out as Patches takes over the digital turntables at an asteroid dive bar! Find out what Mags’ informant Kaufman takes with him on his last day as Chief Administrator of the Martian Warehousing Zone!

And cover your ears, because Mags and her crew are back—bigger, badder, and louder than ever!

About This Story:

The Lost Crew of the Volya IX begins on the night which ended the story Daughter of Lightning in the final pages of the Red Metal at Dawn collection.

A new amendment to the Musical Freedoms Act has placed Meteor Mags at the top of the list of the Solar System’s criminals. Inside the Port Authority, her informant Kaufman, Chief Administrator over all the Martian Warehousing Zone, has received orders to assist Mags’ enemies in planning a full-scale invasion of her club on Vesta 4. But Mags has yet to hear this news.

As told in Daughter of Lightning, Mags’ friend Dr. Plutonian left Vesta 4 to find a place to hide a mysterious object he discovered in space. Mags believes the object came from the machinery that transformed her cat in Patches the Immortal. The object has displayed powers of incredible destructive force, and it broadcasts an unearthly music not just as sound but on electromagnetic spectra only Plutonian’s specialized equipment can record.

Meteor Mags and her friend Slim, who runs a strip club where Mags likes to dance and sell stolen cargo, have been working on a revolutionary technology. Its details remain a mystery, but Mags and Slim have applied their combined mathematical genius to the problem.

For the complete history of Meteor Mags and her crew leading up to this story, please see the collection Red Metal at Dawn and Other Tales of Interplanetary Piracy, available on Kindle and as a 400-page illustrated paperback. Also available for iBook and Nook Book.

Bonus Art: Patches Takes Over.

patches on turntables - Small Copy

 

Bonus Art: Tesla Takes a Catnap. Available as a print!

tesla napping 8x10crop - Small Copy

Bonus Art: Kick It! Available as a Print!

mags 9v2-5x7crop - small copy

Asteroid Underground Guest Column:Meteor Mags, 2027

Patches of Protest

Music is treason
Out here on the frontier
Where the laws of men and gravity lie broken

Music is treason
Freedom, fluid beats and rhymes
Your thoughts no longer slaves to culture

Music is treason
Super-conducted by wild memory
Patches of protest bloom here and there like islands

In the saxophone bell
In the subsonic pulse and cymbals
They never left. They never do.

john constantine 1994

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john constantine card 1994_0001

While re-reading the entire Sandman series from Vertigo this weekend, I found this John Constantine trading card from 1994. It had been safely encased in the original sealed plastic envelope for more than two decades now, like some kind of hell-blazing time capsule. So, what the heck. Why not rip that puppy out and put it on the Internet?

john constantine card 1994_0002

Origin of Galactus

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We posted these pages in serialized form in the early days of this blog, but that’s proven inconvenient for people searching for this entire epic. Here they are, all in one spot for those legions of internet users who want to know the answer to the most burning question in the universe: Where the heck did Galactus come from?!

Super Villain Classics #1 (1983) compiled pages from even older Thor comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Some supplemental art and dialogue was added to streamline the story into one coherent narrative. Are you interested in those original Thor issues? Check our archives for samples of Thor #162 here and here! Super Villain Classics #1 was reprinted in 1996 as Galactus the Origin.

sketchbooks

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IMG_9732

This drawing is based on a photograph of Ellie the Studio Cat. Ellie here is modeling for Tesla, the pirate radio DJ’s Siamese cat in the Meteor Mags series. The Psycho 78s album cover she is lying on needs to be finished, and then it can join the recent crop of drawings for the next set of stories in the series.

It’s been slow going on this drawing, not due to technical factors but emotional ones. Ellie disappeared last month on March 20. I’ve posted her on numerous websites and put up 150 flyers in the neighborhood, talked to many helpful folks in the area, and responded to dozens of phone calls about cat sightings. But no luck.

Ellie was my constant companion through life’s storms for the better part of six years. I miss her more than words can express.

I suppose that’s why we have art.

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