Free Comic Book Day 2014

April 29, 2014

This Saturday, May 3rd, I’ll be at Jetpack Comics’ world famous Free Comic Book Day celebration in Rochester, NH. It’s gonna be a big one, dudes. Like…whoa — free comic books for days.

My pals (and fellow Massholes) Chris Golden (Baltimore, Sons of Anarchy) Tom Sniegoski (Bone, Vampirella) and Tyler James (The Red Ten, Epic) will be there, too. We’ll all have a bunch of stuff to scribble on for you.

Plus, you know, Rebekah Isaacs (Buffy) and those Ninja Turtle guys will be there. I’m sure at least a few people are excited about those three :)

This year I get my very own Free Comic Book Day issue: SCAM: CROSSWORDS #0, written by me, and drawn by Joe Mulvey. Even if you can’t make it up to Rochester, your local comic shop should have them to give away. It looks like this:

COMIXTRIB-FCBD14-SCAM-0-df788

Looks badass, right? You see the blood on his mask, and the stuff on fire? Blood AND fire = Bad. Ass. BANG! BANG! BANG! GHAAAK! *bleeds to death*

I’m also bringing along early copies of my new MAGIC: THE GATHERING trade, tons of MAGIC single issues, and at least a few of pretty much everything else I’ve ever worked on. So drop by, say hello, and let’s celebrate. It’s our day.

PS

Saturday is my older son’s 13th birthday. I’m bringing him along, and he loves punches on the shoulder…a lot.

 

A Fresh Start

March 31, 2014

It’s been raining for three days on the South Coast of Massachusetts. This morning that rain turned to fat globs of shaved ice for a just a few minutes while I was in the car. Normally that would piss me off. Sitting here, on the edge of April, seeing snow pelt my windshield — enough’s enough, you know? But it didn’t piss me off, not today. Today it made me smile.

Baseball is back. And for those of us in the north east, today is the official end to what was a long (and sometimes bleak) winter. At 3:05 this afternoon my beloved Red Sox play the first game of the 2014 season that matters. Everyone gets a fresh start today. We start at 1 and count to 162 between now and September 28th. And hopefully, with a little luck, our boys of summer will be playing well into the fall again.

“Everyday is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.”  Bob Feller

Making Magic

October 9, 2013

Out today: MAGIC THE GATHERING #1, the first issue of my new ongoing series with Martin Coccolo, and part one of the Theros arc. I’m pretty sure the alternate art card included with the issue is High Tide, which should bring a smile to all you old-time Magic players. Hope you dig it.

Magic #1

boston comic con

My involvement in Boston Comic Con has gone from “I’ll just be walking around, visiting pals and buying stuff” to “I have two signings scheduled, and will be there the entire weekend.”

Here’s where I’ll be:

Saturday

1:00-2:30 at the IDW booth signing with Charles Wilson III, Chris Ryall, Gabe Rodriguez, and Joe Hill.

5:00-5:45 (Spectator) Writing Comics Panel with Steve Niles, Frank Tieri, Tom Sniegoski

Sunday

2:00-2:45 (Spectator) Locke & Key Panel with Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, Chris Ryall

3:15-4:30 at the IDW booth signing with Charles Wilson III, Chris Ryall, Gabe Rodriguez, and Joe Hill.

I’ll also be signing OXYMORON at the ComixTribe booth, and visiting with all the people I wish I got to spend more time with.

See you there!

I like to cook. Some of you know that. I also like to read about food, and I sometimes write stuff, so doing a blog post about food seemed like an idea that made sense. This is part 1. Will there be a part 2? I don’t really know. I hope so, but I have this awful habit of starting things and never finishing them. Anyway, I thought a good place to start would be the classic dude food: meat and potatoes. I don’t want to brag, but I cook a steak so damn good that when you’re done eating it you’ll try to kiss me on the mouth. (Right after you stop crying sweet tears of pleasure, of course.)

It’s a classic. We all grew up eating it in one form or another. Most of us are accustomed to eating overcooked meats with baked or mashed potatoes served with a side of green beans and some gravy if we were lucky. Pure shit, really. And it’s a shame because it really doesn’t take a whole lot of skill to do this right.

Let’s get started, huh?

Part 1: Tools

Like any job worth doing, you need the right tools. People spend stupid amounts of money on fancy stuff for their kitchen that will either never get used or, even worse, never improve the quality of their cooking. Here’s what I used for this dish:

1) 8-inch Wusthof chef knife

2) 13-inch Calphalon deep saute’ pan

3) Tongs

4) Cutting board

5) 10 inch non-stick frying pan

That’s it. 2 pans, 2 tools, and a cutting board.

Part 2: Ingredients

1) 16-ounce organic, grass-fed New York strip steak

2) Sliced Shiitake mushrooms

3) Small golden potatoes

4) Rendered duck fat

5) A handful of cherry tomatoes

6) Salt & Pepper (Ahhh, push it)

7) Sprig of rosemary

8) Smoked paprika

9) Olive oil

Your ingredients will look something like this. Sorry for the crappy photo.

 

dudefood1

Okay, so the first thing you want to do is preheat your oven to 400 degrees. You’re going to want it to be ready when you’re done searing the steak on the pan. Next, salt and pepper the steak. Don’t use Morton’s salt that comes in the blue cardboard can, get something coarse. Same goes for the pepper. Now, you’re going to want to sprinkle a little on and think that’s enough, but it’s not. COVER THE MEAT WITH SALT. Trust me, most of it comes off in cooking and you’re going to need a lot to penetrate the surface and add any real flavor. It should look exactly like this if you’re doing it right:

dudefood4

Seems like a lot of salt, huh? It’s not. It’s just enough to do the job.

While the meat is sitting in its salt bath and coming up to room temperature, you can start the potatoes. Put a few tablespoons of the rendered duck fat into the 10-inch frying pan and melt it. It’ll shimmer and smoke a little when it’s ready for the potatoes. Slice the potatoes into quarter-inch thick slices and toss them in when the fat tells you it’s time.

Here’s what rendered duck fat looks like. This stuff can be tough to find, not expensive, just not easy to get your hands on. I get mine at Persimmon Provisions in Barrington, RI. It’s a great little specialty shop, worth the trip if you want to stock up on some amazing food. I think this was $3 or something.

dudefood3

Toss the potatoes so they’re evenly coated, dust with the smoked paprika, cover the frying pan and reduce the heat to medium high. You’ll want to give them a toss a few times while the steak is cooking so they brown evenly. Dice the rosemary up into very fine pieces and throw it in towards the end of the cooking, which should be around 10-12 minutes.

They’ll look like this if you’re doing it right

dudefood7

While all this is going on you can get the oil hot in the big skillet or saute’ pan. I use olive oil, but anything will do. Just like the duck fat you want it to shimmer and smoke a little just before you lay the meat in. I sear the steak for 3 minutes on each side. No more than that because you’re going to finish it in the oven. After the first side I added the mushrooms and a handful of cherry tomatoes. Why the tomatoes, you ask? I’ll tell you. For one, they add some color, but they also add some moisture that will mix with the mushrooms and be used as a topping for the steak when it’s done. It should look something like this when you’re searing the second side:

dudefood8

When you’re done searing the second side, throw the whole pan in a 400 degree oven for another 5 minutes. DO NOT FORGET ABOUT IT. 5 minutes is enough time to perfectly finish the meat to medium rare, burst the tomatoes, and finish cooking the mushrooms. After 5 minutes pull it out of the oven and remove the steak from the pan so it stops cooking. Let it rest on your cutting board for about 10 minutes. This is key to the experience. While it’s resting, break up the tomatoes and mix them with the mushrooms to form a chunky, super tasty gravy.

If you did it right, your dish should look something like this:

dudefood9

The potatoes are golden with crispy edges and the steak is a perfect medium rare. Ladle the mushroom mixture over the steak and enjoy.

There you have it. Meat and potatoes done right in less than a half hour.

Burp…

dudefood5

My contribution to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle legacy: Old Hob Microseries by me and Dave Wachter is out today. Dream come true kind of stuff for a guy from Massachusetts who grew up loving Kevin Eastman and the Turtles in the 80s. Hope you dig it.

hob

The first issue of THUMBPRINT is on comic book shop shelves across the world today. It’s the first of a three issue miniseries based on Joe Hill’s short story, with art by  former adult film star Vic Malhotra, words by me, and edited by aging rock god Chris Ryall. We hope you’ll give it a try.

Thumb 1

Alternate cover by Vincent Chong

Thumb 2

I’m sorry, okay?

March 23, 2013

When you’re best bud and your girlfriend have to remind you that your blog is getting old and stale, well… it’s time to freshen things up. Happy spring, by the way. Since my last post the hardcover collection of THE CAPE 1969 came out, and I got green lit on three new projects. Damn proud of that hardcover, and psyched as all hell about 2013. Here’s the first two projects:

THUMBPRINT 3-issue miniseries with Joe Hill and Vic Malhotra

thumbprintTMNT MICROSERIES: OLD HOB with Dave Watcher

hob

Both are out in June. Got an ongoing gig that launches in September that I should be able to talk about soon. Imagine if you played a shit-ton of Monopoly and loved it so much you could cry and then the folks at Hasbro were like, “Hey, you wanna write some Monopoly stories?” It’s kind of like that but actually cool and when I heard the news I ran to the bathroom and kissed my reflection in the mirror. No, I didn’t use my tongue. Jeeze, people. Also, a few surprise releases mid to late summer that should make for some swell beach reading if you’re a sicko.

Till next time. (Hopefully not 5 months from now.)

Jason

 

Did I use “Burn Baby Burn” when issue 3 came out? I might have. There’s a lot of shit on fire in the last two issues.

THE CAPE 1969 #4 hits shelves today. Nelson Daniel has crafted a red-hot, bloody finale for this miniseries, and I couldn’t be happier with it. There are a few pages in this book that fans of the original CAPE miniseries will instantly recognize.

 

Don’t forget, you can get only get the Jetpack Comics exclusives of all 4 issues of THE CAPE 1969 here: http://www.jetpackcomics.com/jetpackvariants.html

They all look amazing, and the quality is superb.

I’ve got great news about 3 new projects I’ll be working on in 2013, and as soon as I get the green light from my editors I’ll be sure to detail them here. I can say that one is an ongoing series, one is a one-shot, and one is a miniseries. All fun stuff, in three completely separate genres to keep me on my toes.

That’s all for now. I hope everyone is enjoying the new season, reading plenty of comics, and watching as many horror movies as you can.

Thanks for reading!

My 55 Favorite Comic Books

September 21, 2012

So, not to be outdone by Joe Hill’s list of his 50 favorite books (I’d link to it but the web gremlins have sabotaged his site), I have compiled a list of my 55 favorite comics. It’s a mix of individual issues, collections, and original graphic novels, and was surprisingly easy to put together. In no particular order:

  1. Batman – The Long Halloween
  2. Terry Moore’s Echo
  3. Brian K Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man
  4. Uncanny X-Men – The Mutant Massacre
  5. Amazing Spider-Man #281
  6. Captain America Annual  #8
  7. Hellboy – Seeds of Destruction
  8. Batman – Year One
  9. Spider-Man – Kraven’s Last Hunt
  10. Creepy Things #4
  11. Earth One – Superman
  12. Joe Hill’s Locke & Key
  13. Daredevil – Yellow
  14. Sandman #19
  15. Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men
  16. Daytrippers
  17. Batman – Court of Owls
  18. Jason Aaron’s Scalped
  19. Superman For All Seasons
  20. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 24-26
  21. Mark Waid’s Daredevil
  22. Brian K Vaughan’s Ex Machina
  23. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol 1
  24. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol 2
  25. Kingdom Come
  26. Spider-Man – Blue
  27. Batman – The Dark Knight Returns
  28. Scud The Disposable Assassin
  29. Grant Morrison’s All Star Superman
  30. Notes for a War Story by Gipi
  31. Wolverine – Old Man Logan
  32. Hellboy – The Right Hand of Doom
  33. Uncanny X-Men #281
  34. Batman – The Dark Knight
  35. Frank Miller’s Sin City
  36. Iron Man – Extremis
  37. Scott Snyder’s American Vampire
  38. Greg Land’s Sojourn
  39. Sergio Aragones’ Groo
  40. Spider-Man – Torment
  41. The Nam
  42. Secret Wars Vol 1
  43. Batman – The Killing Joke
  44. Uncanny X-Men #234
  45. Mark Texeira’s Sabertooth
  46. Avengers – Disassembled
  47. Green Lantern – Rebirth
  48. Terry Moore’s Rachel Rising
  49. Batman – Hush
  50. Brian K Vaughan’s Saga
  51. Marvels
  52. Daredevil – The Man Without Fear
  53. 300
  54. Ed Brubaker’s Criminal
  55. Conan – The Frost Giant’s Daughter
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