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!!




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