Monday, November 14, 2011

I really don't understand people who are clearly in "the 99%" who poop on what is hopefully being achieved by the Occupy Movement. I guess I don't understand their motives or where they're coming from.

It's like half the people are complaining that they're being F'ed in the A, while the other half is saying they either don't feel it, or are perfectly happy being F'ed in the A, as long as someday they too, might find themselves F'ing other A's.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I think being preachy is stupid, and being preachy on the internet is doubly stupid. I'm also told repeatedly not to be political or controversial online, or really even be too opinionated on anything, because people might subsequently not buy my work based on my personal leanings. That kind of makes sense, so I adhere to it, because what do I have to gain when I spout my bullshit, given that I theoretically have something to lose?

But here's an observation. I think when you get married, and you have someone that you call your wife or your husband and not something more general like partner or girlfriend/boyfriend, and you wear a ring to show everyone you have this specific relatonship with this person, you either find yourself so happy you want everyone to be able to share that specific feeling, or you're so happy that you don't want to share it at all with people who aren't like you if you can find a loophole.

I don't have any gay friends. Like, legit, I cannot think of a single person whom I would consider a FRIEND friend, who I know is gay. Well, except one, but he's more a friend of my sister's. What I'm saying is that I'm not really speaking on behalf of anyone other than myself and my, granted, VERY limited point of view, defined pretty much by sitcoms on nbc and abc.

But I know what having a husband or a wife means. And I know it's different from having a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Or a partner. No one thinks about being buried next to their girlfriend or boyfriend. Or visiting grandchildren with their partner. You don't grow up thinking it's about legal titles, you grow up knowing it's a very specific relationship that being a husband or wife, or having a husband or wife entails. And gay people have this relationship too, right? I don't know, maybe they don't, I've never had this conversation with a gay person. I talk to my sister's friend about X-Men, mostly.

I guess my point is there isn't a reason good enough that says a person can't call someone their husband or wife if both people really want to.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Auction is over!

$11,006 going to the American Red Cross to help the people of Japan. Better news: no more auction updates.

Thank you to everyone involved, Rebekah Isaacs, Eric Canete, Rick Remender, Humberto Ramos, Jewel Staite, Jo Chen and Mindy Lee for their donations, and Jason Schachter for dealing with the headaches. You guys are awesome.

Thanks also to everyone who helped promote this, with retweets and facebook updates, mentions in blogs and podcasts, you guys took a little time out to do a whole lot of good. You guys are awesomer!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hiccup

We apologize.

We had to cancel the second round of auction items due to a hiccup which we didn't foresee from the last round of auctions.

Missionfish, the organization through which we donate the money to the American Red Cross via eBay, is looking for 100% of the sales of each item in the auction, which would be fine on paper, and is what we said we would do.

None of us are doing this to make any money whatsoever.

Unfortunately they do not take into account the 3.5% cut off the final sale price that Paypal takes when they accept the money before they forward it to Missionfish.

Jason has spent the last 24 hours trying to get a hold of the people at Missionfish and they have been uncooperative to say the least. I can understand where they're coming from, but from a principle's standpoint I do not see why they don't see where we're coming from.

To say the least we're a little upset at the way things are turning out. We're being asked to pay money out of pocket to make up the 3.5% for the right to donate the money to Missionfish, which is the only way you can do charitable donations through eBay directly.

Because of the generosity of the bidders and donaters in the last round, and $5855 in sales for the eBay items, we're having to pay over $200 for the PRIVILEGE of donating it directly to the American Red Cross.

We're probably just going to restart the auctions of this next round and say that we're donating 96.5% of the sale to charity. Please know that this is why, and the 3.5% isn't to pay for strippers or anything.

Thank you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The auction

Hi.

If you're new, this auction is to benefit The American Red Cross, in helping the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunamis in Japan. They still need our help over there, and this is just me and a few good (emphasis on good) friends in the comic industry's attempt to help out. Some of them had already helped, and a lot of people I asked donations from had already helped out by raising money and awareness to the cause. I was only late in getting my butt in gear because a) I'm really self-absorbed and if it doesn't involve me, I don't usually care about it, and b) my mom was late in telling me to do my part, so really it's all her fault.

Anyway.

I got quite a few donations of some really cool stuff, which I'll go into later. However, it kind of defeated the purpose of my original idea of combining all of the items into one big lot, given that, in order to get the maximum amount of donation dollars possible (oh yeah, 100% of the proceeds go straight to the cause) the winning bidder would have to be the biggest fan of too many varied genres, so I followed the advice of many and separated them into many different lots. I think a lot of prospective bidders also preferred that.

So I'm officially stupid.

I wanted to first of all thank all those who graciously made donations,

Eric Canete

Jo Chen and Jewel Staite

Kurt Wagner

Rebekah Isaacs

Humberto Ramos

Rick Remender

as well as my art dealer Jason Schachter, who is actually the one setting up the auction on ebay and had to catalog and scan everything.

He's also telling me we're going to do a promotion where if you mention the auction when purchasing any interior page I drew on his Essential Sequential art website we donate 50% of the sale to The American Red Cross as well, plus you get a 20% discount on the pages you buy. So thanks for that, Jason. Maybe run it by me before you decide on stuff like that next time.

This isn't everything though. There's still a few items like my X-Men #204 cover and Uncanny X-Men 495 cover, as well as a few awesome things still coming in that haven't been scanned in yet, but I wanted to get the ball rolling. We're going to be splitting the auction into two parts, with the first part starting EVENING of SUNDAY the 24th of APRIL.

Stay tuned!

Remender the Titan



Yeah, I'm sorry about the title. But it's 4:30 in the morning and I've been at my desk all day and all night.

Anyway.

I have to admit that I'd originally had my doubts about this storyline. I'm a huge fan of the incredible Garth Ennis Max run, so the idea of The Punisher becoming a Frankenstein's Monster-type thing really did not appeal to me. But way too many people were recommending it to me so I buckled and finally bought it.

Holy frig.

Okay, if you're familiar with Rick's writing, he has this uncanny ability to slip "holy crap" moments into a story without drawing too much attention to it, which could take a reader out of the story. He does a perfect balancing act of making the really incredible also believable in the context of the story, and that's the whole awesomeness of this book. It's a definitely MARVEL story while being completely true to the character of Frank Castle as the Punisher, which starts off with a "I can't believe they did that" moment gorgeously rendered by John Romita Jr. and plunges him face-first into the world of the Marvel Monsters. As a re-animated cyborg.

But you can bet your sweet a$$ it's still a Frank Castle story.

So in short, I loved it. And here, you'll have the opportunity to get a signed copy of the beautiful hardcover edition. You will not want to take this baby into the bathroom. Nope, this is the kind of BOOK book that you read in the study, in your robe, while carefully sipping on a champagne flute of Mountain Dew.

It's Frank Castle as Frankenstein's Monster. And it totally makes sense. You'll love it too, I promise you.

Yum-berto



Humberto Ramos generously donated this great page from his recent Amazing Spider-Man issue signalling the introduction of the new VENOM. A great example of Ramos's signature dynamic action and superheroic proportions, depicting the historic moment where Flash Thompson actually becomes interesting!

Yes, I was bullied in school, why do you ask?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Inside the Mind of Rebekah Isaacs







This donated collection from the insanely talented Rebekah Isaacs is a real treat.

First of all, I'm a huge fan of her artwork. As a person, she's truly evil, but the darkness of her heart and soul is more than made up for by her exquisite sense of craftsmanship in her art, from the masterful grasp of anatomy translating into the uncanny ability to convey body language both naturally and expressively, to her sense of design and being able to balance intricate detail with organic placement of open spaces on the page, all while being an exceptional graphic storyteller.

Included in this auction is a wonderful and impressive double page promotional piece showcasing the entire DV8 team. However, for me, just as impressive from Rebekah's donation would be her behind the scenes stuff which she also included.

These character designs, along with a full issue's worth of layouts for DV8 issue 8, allow you to take a look behind the curtains and see a true artist's thought processes in developing great characters with personalities and physical idiosyncracies, and using those characters as pieces visually acting out the story in a comic book. A must have for any fan of the medium, or any aspiring comic book artist, or any fan of the awesome Rebekah Isaacs.

But seriously, I hear she eats children or something.

Check out her artwork HERE, and follow her blog HERE.

Firefly's KAYLEE by JO CHEN, signed by JEWEL STAITE



A beautiful piece drawn by the awesome Jo Chen, who drew Kaylee on the cover of the Firefly comic book published by Dark Horse Comics, and signed by the artist. So what could make this a more perfect piece for die-hard Firefly fans? How about it also being autographed by Jewel Staite herself, AND kissed leaving a lipstick print directly on the page?

Only downside is that you're left feeling jealous of a piece of paper.

Made possible by the generosities of Jo Chen and her exceptional talents, and Jewel Staite, who until now had promised herself she'd only go to first base with Zagat-rated dining establishments.

Eric Canete's Wildcats Double Page Spread!



This piece is huge. And Eric is a friggin' genius. There's nothing else that needs to be said, really.

Except this.

Ask any working comic book creator today to name the artist whose brains they would most want to eat to steal their drawing powers.

The name "Eric Canete" would get you even odds in Vegas. I am not even exaggerating. It is no surprise that he has some of the biggest names in comics included in his huge fan base. I hear Jim Lee cries himself to sleep in the corner of his bedroom closet every night while muttering Eric's name like a fever-induced mantra.

I know I do.

And not just at night.

X-Force #26 pages!












These are only 10 of the 23 pages of the entire issue included in this lot. The rest will hopefully be posted on the ebay auction page when it goes up. It was an incredible honor getting to depict this event, one that I found extremely humbling, which was odd given that it was a fictional character and all.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Getting close!

Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been a little under the weather, plus I still haven't done my taxes. Plus I have a day job. Crap.

To get up to date as to what's been going on, please go here!

Anyway, donation offers have kind of just stopped dead after the initial wave, so I thought I'd do a final plea right before the go-live of the auction. I've also received quite a few offers that haven't been fulfilled yet, due to people's busy schedules, so I don't want to jump the gun and talk about them quite yet, plus I don't want anyone to be disappointed if they don't come through before the deadline.

However, I'm pretty sure I'm going to try and make this an annual thing, every tax day. My regular charity cause is The Make-A-Wish Foundation, and has been for over a decade now, but I never really do enough. So any items left over will rollover to next year.

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Sorry for the delay!

Some more updates: My art dealer Jason is going to be helping me on this auction. He has all the pieces, which now include some stunning artwork from genius artist Eric Canete!!!, and will be putting them up on eBay NEXT week. We have received a lot more than we originally thought we would, and I realized a little too late that starting a major project like this on tax day only makes sense if YOU've done your taxes beforehand. Which I still haven't.

So the timeline is this: MONDAY, or actual Tax Day, I'm going to announce and show everything we have available for auction, and it's a lot. That way people can actually anticipate and prepare for what they want to get, hopefully. Then the auctions themselves will start that week.

Given the volume of stuff, I'm not sure if the incentive idea with one big package being auctioned is feasible at the moment, so we might have to just do them all separately. I think this will also help generate the maximum amount of money fo everything. We'll probably stagger things a little bit as well, so there's not too much being auctioned off at the same time. But everything we have, and probably start dates, will be shown on Monday.

Thanks! Please email me at mikechoirants at g mail if you have any questions!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's still charity, even if it's done out of sheer spite.



So my mom (that's Mom in the photo, fixing to claim Dad as her property, once and for all) tells me that I should do something to help the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunamis in Japan. Hey, I thought owning a Wii and a Sony blu-ray player was enough. Or maybe it's a Samsung. Tomato, tomahto. And I'm pretty sure my next car is either going to be a Nissan or a Toyota, and that's like thousands of dollars right there alone. But I'm sure that's not good enough for her (she's getting old, and I think she's trying to make earning brownie points to get into heaven a family affair now. Oh, Catholicism and bribes.)

I love my mom. But dammit, I'm going to show her I am a good person, even if it kills her. I'm going to try and do something meaningful and helpful to those who have gone through tragedy unimaginable to most of us, because let's face it, it could so easily be you or me (especially me, living on the edge of a faultline like a cold sore,) and we owe it to ourselves as human beings to show some sense of us all being in this together. Plus, anything to get out of another Sunday phone call from Mom.

So, anyway.

I had the fortune and honor of being given the assignment to draw the death of a much beloved comic book character, Nightcrawler of the X-Men, in issue #26 of X-Force, as a part of the Second Coming story arc, written by the great Craig Kyle and easy-on-the-eyes Chris Yost. I have the entire issue's worth of hand-drawn original art, which I was hoping to keep for myself, to someday sell in the event of an emergency or me wanting to buy one of them 3-D TVs. But instead, I'm going to auction them all off, and donate 100% of the proceeds to the American Red Cross, in support of their disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.

That'll show Mom.

I also had other things I wanted to donate. The original art to my first New X-Men cover, #204, written by Mike Carey, and the art to my first Uncanny X-Men cover, #495, written by Ed Brubaker (Yes, there's a difference.) While I originally thought I'd just sell them separately, (because let's face it, they're really only valuable to me as sentimental pieces, even though I do think they look nice, and could probably fetch a bit,) I decided instead to let my inner PT-Barnum-if he-sold-used-cars come out and have them as incentives to raise the highest bid on what I think is the bigger deal, the art from the issue where poor Kurt bites it.

Along those lines, I started to think, hey, what other crap do I have lying around the house I can throw on top as more incentives? I've found some hardcovers, rare variant issues, and basically some knick knacks that I could pass off as slightly more valuable by doodling something on them.

Basically, I'd say, if the auction bid hits, say, $100, I'll throw in a signed $1 poker chip from Circus Circus I found in the trunk of my rental car. $150? Hey, you also get a worn out first edition copy of Fab Five by Mitch Albom, signed by Rob Pelinka. And so on.

Well, here's where I'm asking my favorite comic peep friends to help. If you have anything that you'd like to donate to add as incentives, or just add to the prize package, that would be awesome. A piece of original art, maybe (don't steal my thunder, mate.) Maybe a piece of stationary you used to create a landmark piece of art of major historical significance, like X-23: Target X #3, for example, where she hugs a puppy. Maybe a signed script or layout sketch.

I honestly do not know how the whole tax-deduction thing will work, so I'll just put it off until 2012, which will NEVER get here anyway, so phew. I know a lot of you have helped the Japan relief already, and I'm actually really late to the party (blame my mom.) But anything you want to help out with by donating, that would be great. The smaller the better, after all, I don't want you outshining me in the good person department, and have my mom wanting to adopt you after disowning me, once and for all.

She's one of those cruel-to-be-kind types. My sunny disposition? All her.

But please help out if you can, even with just a signed comp copy of a random issue. I kept this original art just because I'm sentimental and was saving them for some imagined future emergency, and that's not as important as helping out people who have lost family, home, everything they knew and had. It's close, but ultimately falls short.

What I'm hoping to achieve is this. As more prize donations come in on this single auction, and the high bid goes up, I'd love it if more people start trying to pool their money with their friends or message board buddies and divvy up prizes that they want. Best case scenario is that this thing becomes a big deal, with a lot of prizes out there and a lot of fans interacting and coming away with something nice for their monetary donation from their favorite comic creators, and a crapload of money going to people who really need it. I'm hoping it's one of those things where attaching a single face to a cause might help unify people, as in the case of the broad issue of counterfeiting artwork and credentials being personified by a single douchebag Floridian, who was cast out of comics by the law offices of Waid, Van Sciver and Johnston, with the support of damn near everyone in comics with a Twitter account.

Hopefully my mom's face could be the one of a good cause like this one, that brings people together in different comic communities to argue amongst themselves over who gets what.

Look at her. Smug.

The idea is to start the auction on April 15, right when most people know what they're getting for their tax refunds, because most people are slackers and procrastinators. So we definitely need to get donations and generate interest by then.

Please email me at mikechoirants at g mail dot com with any donations or ideas or whatever. This might be a really crappy idea that falls flat on its face. But in the end, at the very least, I'll have made at least a little money for a good cause, someone will have some nice original art, and my mom will stop bugging me until Christmas-ish.

Please check back for updates, what kind of stuff will be part of the package, scans of the art etc.

Thank you.

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I will be breaking my no-cons-in-2011 rule to go to Wondercon, just to get stuff from anyone who might have any donations. Email me please :)

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Holy crap, have already gotten a pledge from someone to donate something really cool. I can't wait to share.

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Seriously, what are my parents looking at in the photo?

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Holy crap. In just one day I've had offers to donate or help out from several people already, including Eric Canete, Ron Marz, Rebekah Isaacs, Greg Pak, CB Cebulski, Jewel Staite, Filip Sablik and the guys at Top Cow (which is why I'll always be a Top Cow guy), and Laura Hudson of Comics Alliance has even helped edit my posts to make me seem less of a d-bag. Thanks so much!

In a week's time, I don't want my name even on this project. I'd love it if it became just a thing people knew about, that people who otherwise wouldn't want to associate with me at all would want to be a part of! :)

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Holy crap. This auction thing is getting bigger than I thought it could get. Who knew people would actually believe me when I said I wanted to do something good.

I felt guilty for the longest time asking people to help, given how much I hate being guilt-tripped, and given how long it took me to finally get off my butt and do something to help. But man, I wish I had done more at Wondercon. Maybe it says something about me, but I never expected such generosity from people.

Quick list of people who have donated stuff to be auctioned so far in alphabetical order:

Humberto Ramos
Jewel Staite
Jo Chen
Rebekah Isaacs
Rick Remender

with pledges from several more individuals and organizations to donate some really cool stuff.

Please help by tweeting the link to this page. Now I really want to change the name of this blog and the whole nature of this thing... I just wanted to do something good and have a little fun, but this has been really humbling. It's like friggin' Scrooge and Christmas or something.

You know, from the book by Bill Murray.

Scans and pics will be put up starting tomorrow.

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Seriously, check out how many times I've started a post with "Holy crap." That should show how amazed I am by people's generosity.

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Some pics of the aforementioned generosity! Holy crap!

Humberto Ramos!
Jewel Staite with Jo Chen!
Rebekah Isaacs!
Rick Remender!