Archive for December, 2013

Christmas Comics Cavalcade: Comico Christmas Special

Posted in christmas comics with tags , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2013 by Christopher Pearce


On this Christmas Eve, let’s look at Comico Christmas Special, a one shot published in 1988. Comico was a independent publisher in the 1980’s perhaps best known for being the home of Matt Wagner’s Grendel, although the company published a wide variety of titles during their fifteen year history including The Rocketeer and several licensed properties.


Indeed, Rocketeer creators Dave Stevens provided the atmospheric cover.

All the stories in this collection are written by Doug Wheeler, a comic artist and writer who is best known for his tenure on DC Comics’ Swamp Thing after Rich Veitch left the book due to creative conflicts with editors. Besides this comic’s yuletide connotations, I wanted to take a look at this book because it’s a pretty broad, sweeping look at the holidays from one specific point of view. Whatever there is to be said about the artists in this book, it’s clear that this is entirely a Doug Wheeler joint. So what did he have to say about Christmas? Well… quite a lot, actually!

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Christmas Comics Cavalcade: Superman #165 (DC Comics)

Posted in christmas comics with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2013 by Christopher Pearce


This week we’ll be looking at Superman #165, published in December of 2001 by DC Comics. The book was written by Jeph Loeb and was something of an all-star “jam” issue featuring a who’s who of popular superhero comic artists. Cover prices was $2.25.


Superman’s been involved with some great Christmas stories in his 75 year history, but this one is different in that it’s highly connected with several ongoing stories within the Superman family of titles. In brief: Lex Luthor has just been elected President of the United States of America. Superman is obviously quite conflicted about this development and spends this issue visiting with the various members of the Justice League to get their take on the recent election results.

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Teacher Comics: Winter Break Plan

Posted in 2013-2014 school year with tags , , , , , , on December 19, 2013 by Christopher Pearce


Teacher Comics: Holiday PSA

Posted in 2013-2014 school year with tags , , , , , on December 18, 2013 by Christopher Pearce


Old Comics: The Agony of Da-Feet

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2013 by Christopher Pearce



Coming off of yesterday’s comic, I thought I’d post this blast from the past. It’s a page from a never-completed project I was working on during my senior year of college. Titled “The Agony of Da-Feet,” it was about my coming to terms with something my then-girlfriend said when she dumped me… namely, that she had fallen out of love with me during an ill-advised spring break trip to Toronto, during which I was in something of a foul mood.

Some cats play the blues, I drew this comic. I was trying to justify my attitude by pointing out how I spent much of the trip in absolute agony thanks to a problem I was having with my feet, among other annoyances like the Canadian government’s newly strict border policy due to 9/11. These things had little or nothing to do with Shannon or our relationship… but the idea they could snowball into something that would make a person fall out of love with me seemed like a good idea for a book.

I got about seven pages in and… I’m not sure what happened. I was still pining for Shan, but everything seemed a little less important to me. After being in a committed relationship through most of college, I found I had adequately proven my mettle to most of the female population of my college and was, I daresay, something of a serial dater during much of the last semester and a half of my undergrad years. I still hurt… but not bad enough that I needed to get it on the page.

I keep a lot of my old comics and artwork. Generally, they make me cringe when I look at them. This comic does not. Sometimes I even think about going back and finishing the thing, but there’s been too much water under the bridge. Still: Thought it was interesting, decided to post it.

Teacher Comics: Questions answered!

Posted in 2013-2014 school year with tags , , , , , , on December 16, 2013 by Christopher Pearce


Over the summer, I made an offer on Tumblr: Ask me any question you like and I will answer it in comic form. For the upcoming winter break, I’m making that same offer. Leave a question in the comics and if it strikes my fancy, I will give it the comic strip treatment. If I don’t get any questions I’m taking the rest of 2013 off from comic making… so get to it!

Chalkboard Drawings: The “All Holiday” edition

Posted in chalkboard drawings with tags , , , , , , , on December 15, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

I draw a picture of myself on my classroom’s chalkboard everyday. I collect those pictures as camera phone photos and post them on Sundays. See the rest here.



Thankfully, my laptop decided to comply, so I can present to you all a holiday themed week on my chalkboard. My choices were slightly upset by an unplanned snowday midweek, but you won’t hear me complaining.

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Christmas Comics Cavalcade: X-O Manowar #26 (Valiant Comics)

Posted in christmas comics with tags , , , , , , , on December 14, 2013 by Christopher Pearce


This week on the Christmas Comics Cavalcade, we’re looking at X-O Manowar #26, written by Rob Johnson and Jorge Gonzalez, with artwork from Rik Levins and Mike DeCarlo, published by Valiant Comics in December of 1993. Cover price was $2.25.


Valiant Comics was an outfit which began by publishing new stories featuring classic Gold Key/Western characters like Magnus: Robot Fighter and Solar: Man of the Atom, eventually extending into brand new characters specifically created for the company. Print runs on the early Valiant comics were relatively low for the era, especially on those original properties. This spurred massive collector interest in the books and for about five years, Valiant gave Marvel and DC Comics a run for their money in terms of market share. Ultimately, Valiant sunk into a morass of intellectual property missteps and irrevelency when the comic company was bought by video game giant Acclaim.

Most of Valiant’s stable of characters were not regular reading for me as a kid, but I was a fan of X-O Manowar. The high concept of the series involved Aric of Dacia, a Visgoth warrior who was abducted by aliens. During his abduction, he came into possession of a highly advanced, sentient alien battle armor. He escaped his captors with the armor but as a consequence, ended up displaced in the 20th century. X-O Manowar was essentially “Conan as Iron Man,” which made for a fitfully fun read.

One of the hallmarks of the Valiant Universe was an incredibly tight inter-company continuity between titles. While Marvel and DC comics were curating a continuity between dozens of titles, the overseers of Valiant only had to worry about coordinating a maximum of 12 books. To wit, something that happened in X-O Manowar would become a plot point in Bloodshot or Eternal Warrior, and so on. In the go-go collector market of the 1990’s, this attention to continuity detail encouraged comic buyers to keep apace with EVERY one of Valiant’s titles, lest they miss out on some small aspect of the story. As such, all of Valiant’s comics in December of 1993 were holiday themed issues with a decent amount of continuity between them. I had originally (and over ambitiously) wanted to look at a whole BUNCH of the holiday themed titles published in this month, but I decided to focus on X-O this year. Perhaps we’ll look at some of the others sometime in the future.

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Teaching Comics: Vocal training

Posted in 2013-2014 school year with tags , , , , , , , on December 12, 2013 by Christopher Pearce


This is a thing my ST complained about quite a few times. I can’t remember it being much a problem for me when I was coming up, but many of my colleagues confirmed that yes, it took awhile for them to modulate the tone and pitch of their voices for the classroom. It makes sense, when you think about it. Most theatrical performers have to get quality vocal training.

Teaching Comics: Example is to Comic

Posted in 2013-2014 school year with tags , , , , , on December 11, 2013 by Christopher Pearce


Analogies had fallen a bit out of style in the past few years but I’m starting to see them on their way back in some forms of testing. Everything in education is cyclical, man.