Cranboyz Online

A place for the members of the Cranboyz to share stories about Comic Books, Conventions and Artwork!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Popa's 10 Favorite Planetary Quotes

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"Planetary" is easily one of my favorite comics of all-time.  Each issue Warren Ellis, John Cassaday and Laura Martin took a scalpel to one of our great fictional archetypes and explored what made it relevant.  I'm pretty sure everything was hit - westerns, pulp heroes, super heroes, 50's science fiction, Japanese monster movies ... it went on and on.

And Ellis was NOT taking the piss out of these archetypes, quite the opposite, in many cases he was exposing the souls of the work, showing us why these stories matter far beyond their plots or the simplicity of what are, in many cases, simple action stories.

Below are my 10 favorite quotes from the series, they won't all make sense out of context but these are the ones that still punch me in the gut when I reread the book, all these years later.

10. 'You're never what I expect, Jakita.' - Issue 7.
9. "People always said The Dead Ranger always shot to wound, but that wounded badmen died of shane. Nobody ever worked out that the bullets were poisoned." - Issue 21
8. "Good morning, Dr. Dowling. From here things will only get worse." - Issue 15.
7. "Bomb makers could be heroes, in 1962." - Issue 0
6. "This where we made the monster movies. I was killed here." - Issue 8
5. "Why did you invent me?" - Issue 9
4. You want to know the secret of the world. It's this: save it and it will repay you, every second of the day." Issue 5
3. "Time to be someone else." - Issue 7
2. Brass: "You should have been around with us in the thirties, Mr. Snow. I can't begin to tell you what you missed. Glories."
Snow: I was busy. - Issue 5
1. "And then they brought me back. Just to see if they could." - Issue 8

Sunday, January 24, 2016


 I have to start by saying that this feels like one of our biggest collection of theme sketches, yet! Everyone seemed to get into the spirit of things and we have a diverse collection of sketches to prove it! 2015 was also a banner year for us in that 2 new Cranboyz began sketch collections, Angel and Nick! And they both got Armed and Dangerous sketches, too! Also in 2015, Eric comleted his Iron Man sketchbook! He still has big sketch plans, so don't think a full sketchbook means he's done! Now, let's get onto some ARMED And DANGEROUS Art!

Popa and Jeremy Haun love them some horror movies and Jeremy did this American Mary sketch in Popa's Horror book!

 Proving that Armed and Dangerous can still be cute, Dave  got this Danger Mouse sketch by Arthur Ball, Eric got his son this Casey Jones by Scoot McMahon and Andy got Stitch (Experiment 626) by Dave Aikins!

Shane added some Captain America bad guys with this Watchdog by Nate Lovett and Ultimatum soldier by Sean Forney!

A few more Marvel bad guys. Eric picked up Force by Nate Lovett and Unicorn by Andy Bennett while Shane got Red Guardian by Pat Quinn and Taskmaster by Adam Withers!

Now some high level Marvel villains! Eric got Iron Man 2020 by Tom Raney, Popa got Terrax and Kang by Craig Rousseau and Andy got Ultron by Uko Smith! 

Popa brought in 2 Buffy versus Freddy Commissions! The first is by Matt Haley and the second by Jeremy Haun!

Popa also got this water color of Buffy by Gene Gonzales!

This collection of  butt-kicking ladies was all drawn by our good pal, Darryl Banks! Popa got Ballistic, of Cyber Force fame, and Angel got Catwoman and a marker Commission of Wonder Woman!

A few of us enjoyed the Free Comic Book Day festivities at Carol and John's Comics, where they had local artists drawing for the fans! Janie Walland did this Huntress for Angel and Green Arrow for Eric! 

Shane added some Cobra firepower to his GI Joe sketchbook! Copperhead by Tim Shinn and Tomax and Xamot by Brendon and Brian Fraim! 

Of course this meant Shane had to add some good guys to his GI Joe collection! Snake Eyes is by Tim Switalski, also from FCBD! Pat Quinn drew Torpedo vs some Cobra EEls, Outback is from Ron Frenz, Law and Order are from Ron Salas and Wild Bill is by Nate Lovett!

 Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow! Ninja throwdown in the thick of battle! Darryl Banks drew this scene for Shane's GI Joe book!

 Some Marvel Heroes were added to the ranks! Angel got Dare Devil by Darryl Banks, Shane got Captain America from Comfort Love and Eric got Nick Fury from Ron Salas! 

Eric added to his Iron Man collection with the Mark 2 armor by Arvell Jones, War Machine by Uko Smith and Ultimate Iron Man by Adam Withers! 

Nick didn't mess around with his Armed and Dangerous sketch, Jonah Hex by the masterful,  Francesco Francavilla!

From the screen to the sketchbook! Popa got Dr. Horrible by Comfort Love and Andy got the Rocketeer by Tom Zahler! 

While it's been proven that all original art is better in person, I need to take a moment to let you know that this scan does not do this piece any justice! The Medusa of Mythology was drawn by Daniel Govar for Popa!

Travis went for the big guns! The Punisher by both Klaus Janson and Dave Johnson!

Andy picked up some color pieces from Craig Rousseau, Hiccup and Toothless, as well as, the Rocketeer and Indiana Jones!

It surprises me that we don't get more duplication of characters within the group but when we do, we do it right! Andy got Silver Sable by Chris Sprouse and Popa got her from Ron Frenz!

Karen picked up some Star Wars sketches for Alaina! Ahsoka by Gene Gonzales and Anakin Skywalker by Silvere Elve! 

Shane took Armed and Dangerous seriously with these Team 7 pieces! Dane (of Wetworks) by Uko Smith, Grifter and Backlash by Scott West (a gift from our friends Christopher and Leigh) and Deathblow by Daniel Govar!

A few Teen Titans were added to Shane's collection! Arsenal by Phil Hester and Wonder Girl by Darryl Banks!

 Never one to miss a chance for some Ninja Turtles art, Andy added these pieces! Leonardo (as a member of the FOOT Clan) by Andy Bennett, Splinter versus Shredder by Dave Wachter and Karai by Landon Franklin!

Karen had Jaiver Avila and Tony Kordos create this Lady Sif for her!

Angel went all out on this color commission of Wonder Woman and Catwoman by Brendon and Brian Fraim and she also picked up this Wonder Woman piece by Paco Baidal!

Lastly, and far from least, are Shane's additions to his X-Men art! Cable by Uko Smith and Scalphunter by Dave Wachter! 

There you have it! All the Armed and Dangerous characters we were able to cram into our sketchbooks! Lots of guns, gear, brawn and attitude! Plans are under way for our 2016 theme and big plans are under way for the Cranboyz 25th Anniversary in 2017!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Akron Comicon

Akron Comicon was this weekend and it is always a delightful show. If you have not been, I recommend you try it out next year as it is moving to a new bigger location.

This year's show marked a special milestone for me. After 23 years my Iron Man sketchbook is complete!

Going into the show I needed a hero and an armor to complete it. The hero came from the Fraim brothers (who plan on making Akron a regular show) in the way of Namor.
Great piece and so glad they were able to do it.

The last armor I was able to get by someone who had worked on the original run of Iron Man, the very nice Arvell Jones.
He was very impressed with my book and gave me a great mark 2 sketch. 

The very last page in the book I actually had Darryl Banks do at Cincy Comic Expo. What better way to end the book than with Jarvis cleaning up the whole mess!

On a side note, I also picked up this Iron Man from the Fraim brothers at the show(not in my book)
Thanks to all who gave advise and encouragement. Also a special thanks to Shane who has had joint custody of my book and without who this probably would have taken 23 more years!

January starts portfolio season!!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Cleveland Comic Con 2015

Cleveland Comic Con 2015 was an interesting mix of disorganization, good guests and lots of people attending. We walked into the artist room (most of the artists were in one room while the rest were mixed in with the dealers) 25 minutes before the show opened and no one batted an eye. We also were by the dealer room about 40 minutes before the show and I was helping dealers navigate there stuff into the room while at least 6 con helpers were chatting with each other and generally ignoring every one. Some of the setup was questionable but despite some quirks lots of great conversations were had and sketches were received. This is the Beast sketch I got from Nate Lovett.
Although not the traditional style I usually get, I really enjoy Nate's art and I am glad I chose him for this sketch!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Popa's Favorite Nightmare On Elm Street Covers

In the spirit of October, I thought I'd go through the several different series of "Nightmare On Elm Street" covers and list my favorite covers.  There have been a few "Elm Street" comic series, two from Innovation Comics, one continuing the stories, one going back to Freddy's origins, Marvel did a couple "Elm Street" magazines, then it kind of died down for awhile.  In the late 90's or so Avatar got the license and did a series of books before DC took the license back and Wildstorm did a few books before eventually cancelling their entire line of licensed horror books.

10. Innovation: "Nightmare On Elm Street: The Beginning #1"  Not entirely sure who drew this.

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9. Avatar: Fearbook Juan Jose Ryp is a great Freddy artist, there's always lots of splatter going on.

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8. Innovation: "Nightmare On Elm Street: The Beginning #2"

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7. Avatar Fearbook alternate cover

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6. Avatar Special

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5. Wildstorm issue 2 - cover by Tony Harris

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4. Innovation series #2
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3, Marvel Magazine #2 - Joe Jusko painted this one

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2, Wildstorm issue 1 - also by Tony Harris, I tried to buy this cover once but it was out of my price range.  Alas, maybe someday.

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1. Innovation issue 5

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Andy's Favorite TMNT Covers!

I'm following up Shane and Popa's Favorite Cover lists with one of my own. I spent some time pulling together a list of my very favorite TMNT covers. It spans from Mirage to IDW, and includes covers from some great talents! Let's get this party started!

10) TMNT #6 (Mirage) - Peter Laird
A masked Turtle with a katana battling a Triceratops with nunchucks in metal pants! What 10-year-old kid WOULDN'T want to read this book?! Peter Laird delivers a thrilling cover featuring the first appearance of my favorite TMNT adversaries, the Triceratons!

9) TMNT Micro Series #1 (Mirage) - Kevin Eastman
This cover contains is the first appearance of Casey Jones. I love this classic Kevin Eastman cover, from the composition to the red duotones, it is a great example of the early TMNT style.

8) TMNT #22 (IDW) Retailer Variant - Declan Shalvey
The latest ongoing TMNT series, published by IDW, has been very successful in finding artists who bring a fresh new look to the Turtles. Whether doing covers or interior art, the artists breathe new life into the characters and stories being told. The Foot Clan has never looked more intimidating than in this cover by Declan Shalvey. The design and placement of the red cape, breaking up the cool, blue hues of the background, really lead your eye to the real threat of the Shredder!

7) TMNT #25 (IDW) - Mateus Santolouco
Mateus Santolouce came to the TMNT in a mini-series called The Secret History of the Foot Clan. This series read like an action movie, filled with intense, dynamic artwork from beginning to end. As part of his introduction into the ongoing, Santolouco created a series of covers that spread across the entire City Fall storyarc, the best of which was this shot of Leonardo in his new role as the Shredder's right hand man.

6) TMNT Micro Series #1 (IDW) - David Petersen
When IDW launched their ongoing TMNT series, they also launched a series of one-shots to mirror the original Mirage "Micro Series." These were intended to be tales which featured each of the Turtles in different solo adventures. IDW hired Mouse Guard artist David Petersen to provide covers for this new series, and he did an outstanding job with them, especially with the cover for the Raphael issue.

5) TMNT #6 (IDW) - Dan Duncan
Dan Duncan was the artist for the initial 12 issue run of IDW's ongoing series, and working alongside Kevin Eastman, he created a solid foundation for the style of artwork found in the series as a whole. I loved the idea for this cover, as seen through the perspective of a Mouser. The Turtles look ready to kick some serious ass, and the monotone red palette really heightens the intensity of the shot.

4) TMNT Collected Edition Book II (Mirage) - Kevin Eastman
I first became aware of the Turtles through the original animated series, but it was this set of graphic novels by First Publishing which made me a true fan. In fact, this cover in particular caught my eye and pulled me into the world of TMNT comics for the first time. This is a fantastic shot of the team by Eastman and one that will always be a favorite.

3) TMNT #1 (Mirage) - Kevin Eastman
The one that started it all... This cover has become an iconic image for the TMNT. It's easy to see Eastman's homage to Frank Miller's work in this cover, but also apparent are the roots of Eastman's developing style. This cover has been recreated by many different artists throughout the Turtles' comic history, and is even used in the opening titles for the animated series. A classic, to be sure.

2) TMNT Collected Edition Book IV (Mirage) - Kevin Eastman
Another amazing cover from the First Publishing set of TMNT graphic novels. Eastman's dynamic composition does a fantastic job setting the tone for the action-packed final volume in this series of color reprints.

1) TMNT #4 (Mirage) Second Print - Michael Dooney
This alternate cover is probably my all-time favorite image of the TMNT. It was so popular at the time, that the artwork was re-used in the packaging for the TMNT Nintendo game, and then showcased on the issue of Nintendo Power magazine which featured the game. I love Dooney's rendition of the Turtles in general, but this image truly captured my imagination as a kid.