The Professionals go to Japan!

Guess what? Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink has been released in Japan! Yep, that’s right. Here’s the Japanese cover by amazing artist Mel Kishida

AS - Japan final

I haven’t received any copies of the book yet, but I’m eagerly awaiting their mysterious interiors. You see, the Japanese publisher, Media Factory, hired their own interior artist who will be rendering all the characters in a manga style. So stay tuned…

P.S. Someone made an Anna Smudge book trailer over at YouTube.

Cool music by Kevin MacLeod. (Of the Clan Macleod? I wonder if Kevin’s a Highlander fan.)



The Professionals goes global!

Hey guys, just got an email with some fun visual treats — The Professionals is being released in Denmark and Taiwan and these are some of the new covers.

AS Tellerup Cover

As you can see, the publishers decided to go with Greg Horn’s amazing covers (which I think is a no-brainer).



And I really love how colorful the designs are for the Taiwan covers. But I was especially curious as to what those floating sentences were alongside Anna and Quenton. So I asked, and apparently these are the 2 translations:

Anna Smudge cover- “The New Yorkers say, as long as Anna Smudge is around, we’ll be able to sleep tight!”

Quenton Cohen cover- “The culinary art is staircase to my dream, and the world is beneath my feet!”

How cool is that?!



Posted on September 7th, 2010 in Art,Quenton Cohen: Professional Chef by MAC

I thought it would be cool to take you guys through a little of the art process for Quenton Cohen: Professional Chef. We usually start with me, alone, sitting in front of my computer, trying to think… Until I finally write up a character description for, um, let’s use Thud as an example.

I email the description to Glenn Fabry, who’s in the UK. Sometimes I’ll chat with him on the phone and we’ll talk through the character a bit. (Glenn likes to learn as much about the characters as possible so that he can add his own details and comedic touches to the drawings.) Then Glenn gets to sketching. And he’ll send me back something like this…


Then I’ll give Glenn some notes (usually my notes are: “Wow. That’s pretty amazing. Seriously.”) and he gets started on the final, which looks like this…


Notice how not much was changed between the original sketch and the final. Well that’s because Glenn usually draws exactly what I am imagining on the very first try.

Then the final is sent to Sean Ellery, a colorist in Australia. And he works his magic…

And then here is the final black & white drawing as incorporated into the layout of the book designed by Greg Collins, here in NYC.

Quenton Cohen Professional Chef

And here is the final colored version (sans text) incorporated into Greg Horn’s beautiful cover art. (Greg’s in Florida. Funny how far apart we all are.)


I’d like to say the process is like magic. But maybe it just feels that way because I’ve got such talented artists onboard.



RED ALERT! Jo-Anne Rioux on the loose in NYC!

Posted on August 26th, 2009 in Art,Cool Stuff,Photos by MAC

I’ve had a wonderful week! My friend Jo-Anne Rioux was in NYC for a visit and I got to take her out for a night of fun, fun, and more fun.


First stop-

Cha-an Teahouse, hidden on the second floor of an East Village brownstone, where we dined on small dishes of exotic fish, multi-colored seaweed, pickled vegetables, and 15 grain rice porridge while sipping white tea. For dessert? Black sesame crème brulee and a mini pound cake with vanilla bean ice cream and raspberry sauce. (Quenton Cohen would be so proud of us!)




Second stop-

My apartment to seek refuge from the thunder storm. The entire NYC sky was lit up by lightning. Also, to change shoes because mine broke! Yowzer!




Third stop-

Yaffa Café, a lantern-filled all-nite restaurant with zebra printed wallpaper, leopard spotted booths, and odd antiques and knick-knacks cluttering every corner.


Jo and Mac


Fourth stop-

Movies on the sofa of my apartment because it’s Tuesday night and nothing else is open!


Fifth stop-

Bed…because it’s now four o’clock in the morning!


But what made this rare visit even more special is that Jo brought along her portfolio and shared some of her new work with me. Yes, Jo’s an artist. An amazing one. And luckily she’s given me permission to share some of her beautiful work with you…




This is just one of many dramatic illustrations from book two of Sword Quest.




This is book two of an awesome-o graphic novel series called Sam & Friends that’s Jo’s illustrating. Tell me you don’t want a cute dog exactly like that?!




I love the colors of this piece and all of the ornate details on her clothing.


To check out more of Jo’s stuff you can log onto her website at


Jo, come back soon!







Anna Smudge character sketches

Posted on May 25th, 2008 in Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink,Art,Buzzzzzz,Interviews by MAC
It’s time for some more art by Glenn “Twinkle Toes” Fabry!


Back when we were discussing what the characters in Anna Smudge actually looked like, Glenn did some preliminary sketches for a bunch of folks. Check out his initial sketches and my comments below. And check out this interview Glenn had with Wizard Magazine about working on Anna Smudge.


Donny "the Meatball" Fratelli


A is a little rotund. Donny is a humongous giant of a man, and he devours chocolate cannolis like there’s no tomorrow, but he’s no Jabba the Hutt. And in C he’s just a little too ape-like and dumb. Not nearly scary enough. After all, this man steals candy from children and makes small infants cry! The B version that Glenn drew of Donny is perfect. Exactly how I had always pictured him in my head!

Mrs. Summer

Mrs. Summer

Man, when Glenn faxed these sketches over I could not stop laughing! We ended up going with version C. A was a little too bird-like, and B was just plain creepy.


The Naked Seaweed Man

Naked Seaweed Man


I went with A. You see, NSM used to be a very handsome and successful man before his crazy seaweed, rhyming days. So, I still wanted you to be able to see a glimmer of the guy he used to be through all of that foliage. And let me tell you, many of my girlfriends thanked me for making that decision, and really want to know who Glenn’s model was for the final drawing.


Jacob Pierce



This was the first sketch of Jacob, and after staring at it for a good five minutes, I lost my appetite for the rest of the day. It was absolutely disgusting. It was perfect. Only thing is Jacob doesn’t have curly hair, and he’s a thin kid. So, Glenn kept the gross factor intact, put Jacob on a strict diet, and stuck some hair relaxer on his head.


Confessions of a Comic Book Geek

Posted on April 25th, 2008 in Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink,Art,Highlights by MAC

So, yeah, I collect comic books. Lots of them. My apartment is filled to the brim with boxes of graphic novels, and pretty much looks like the inside of Forbidden Planet… with a bed. I guess you could call me a comic nerd. I know the names of really obscure characters like Beppo (the monkey from Superman’s home planet Krypton) and the The Merk (the alien that gave Nexus his powers). And yes, I realize that to most folks it probably sounds as if I’m speaking Lithuanian right now. I stumbled into comics my first year in college, and from then on out I was hooked.


When I found out that there were going to be illustrations in my book, Anna Smudge, I adamantly wanted to get artists from the comic book industry. So, I wrote up a bunch of nutty character descriptions along with a brief book synopsis and sent them to Glenn Fabry, a two-time Eisner award winning comic artist in the UK, who I’ve been a big fan of for years and years. Then I held my breath and crossed my fingers & toes. Luckily, Glenn took a fancy to the material and signed on!


Check out a few of the original character descriptions I sent to Glenn alongside his final art for the book:


Note to Glenn: These portraits will be placed at the section breaks throughout the book. They are in-your-face shots of every antagonist/villain that Anna comes up against. So, each one needs to be hard core, threatening, and popping right off the page!




Donny “the Meatball” Fratelli:

Donny “the Meatball” is a notorious hitman who just escaped from prison. He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer. In fact he’s more like a spoon.


So, in an attempt to disguise himself, he bleached his hair blonde. Now he’s a humongous giant of a man, with a violent, out of control temper, and white-blonde hair. In terms of looks, think of that huge, quiet goon in the movie Fargo or your typical Sopranos buffoon.

This portrait should be scary with a twinge of comedy. Donny is lunging at the reader with a toilet bowl plunger, his teeth gritted, his eyes wild. He is very angry!! And man, is he gonna plunge you!!!




Ms. Musashi:

Have you ever had a scary dictator of a math teacher who you could have sworn was a secret government spy? Well, then you’ve probably had math with Ms. Musashi. She is Japanese and in her forties. She has dark, shiny hair cut in a severe page boy style. She wears suits of different colors and carries a matching stick, which she smacks across the chalk board like a whip. Strict, Strict, Strict! She talks in a monotone and the word “smile” is not in her vocabulary. She is severe and military-like.

This shot should be threatening. Ms. Musashi should be smacking her stick against her open palm… “What’s 5347 divided by 53?” …her eyes burn into your very soul and you know it’s either get the answer right or pee in your pants in front of the entire class.




Mrs. Summer:

Poor Mrs. Summer. She was just a fragile, sixth-grade art teacher who liked to finger paint. But after seeing Mr. Who’s face, she’s completely lost her mind. She’s gone bonkers!

In this portrait Mrs. Summer is strapped into a straight jacket; her hair is smeared with paint, mascara is running down her face, her eyes are wild, and she is screaming at the top of her lungs, desperate to tell us something. She has blonde curly hair, she is middle-aged… and she is completely crazy!




Jacob Pierce:

Jacob is your typical 11-year old bully— loud, obnoxious, and always trying to get someone in trouble. He’s got red hair and mash of freckles on his face. In this portrait, he is coming right at you, sneering, making monster-face; “poop” is smeared on his cheeks and all over his hands. And he’s trying to wipe it all over you! Eeew!




The Annoyed Police officer:

This is the guy who has a desk job and enjoys bossing people around. Think Barney Fife from Mayberry He’s tall, thin, gangly, with a large Adam’s apple. He hates kids, and most of the rest of humanity. And he probably has an ulcer from the endless towers of papers he has to file. He is dressed in a crisp police uniform and hat.


In this shot, he is pointing at the door behind the reader, furious, impatient, ordering them to leave!!




Check out the new Anna Smudge posters!

Posted on April 17th, 2008 in Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink,Appearances,Art,Events,Highlights by MAC

Yup, they’re here… bigger, badder, and way more obnoxious!!!


Donny CON poster

MrsSummer CON poster NSW CON poster


Folks who buy a copy of Anna Smudge this weekend at the New York Comic Con will get their choice of one of these posters. I will be signing books along with Glenn Fabry and Greg Horn at my publisher’s booth. So, stop by Toasted Coconut Media, Booth 1630, right across from DC Comics and say hi!




Evolution of a Cover

Posted on April 16th, 2008 in Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink,Art,Buzzzzzz,Interviews by MAC




Wanna see how the cover of Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink came to fruition?


Well, up top is the crummy sketch I sent to cover artist Greg Horn when I was first trying to describe to him what I had in mind. The second is the  much more awesome sketch that Greg sent back to me. Greg’s a very famous artist in the comic book industry. Every time I got sketches from him in my inbox it was like Christmas!


Check out Greg’s interview with Wizard Magazine about the revision process the Anna Smudge cover went through.




It’s raining shrinks!

Posted on March 5th, 2008 in Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink,Art,Buzzzzzz by MAC



Who knew that therapy would become such a rage? The Associated Press featured Anna Smudge in an article about the popularity of shrinks in entertainment alongside HBO’s In Therapy, The Sopranos, Frasier, and the movie Charlie Bartlett. It was picked up by the New York Times, USA Today, MSNBC, Washington Post, LA Times, Fox News, ABC News, and a zillion other places.


Art by Greg Horn.

Layout by Gregory "Gee Willakers" Collins.




The Professionals

Posted on March 1st, 2008 in Art,Highlights,The Professionals by MAC

The Professionals


Here’s a group shot of all of The Professionals. They’re not your typical group of friends, but they all have one very important thing in common… Yup, you guessed it. They have to track down the criminal mastermind Mr. Who.


Do you know who he is?


Pencils and inks by Kevin Sharpe and MAC. Color art by Sean Ellery.