Yelp Review - Village Whiskey

5 star rating

My boyfriend and I went on a Sunday evening but even still there was a small wait of about 10 minutes. The wait paid off though b/c (as per my previous review of FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY) we got a snug little corner seat that was a great people watching location.

The ambiance was busy but laid back, the Whiskey menu is obviously impressive. The bar was packed.

We shared 2 apps - the tots and the deviled eggs - and while I still maintain South St (with PERCY ST BBQ and SUPPER) as the deviled egg capital of Philly, the Tots were awesome! The potato seemed to be pureed inside so they were melt in your mouth YUM!

Of course we had to order the WHISKEY KING. And it was worth every penny. Boasting 2 of my favorite things, Bleu Cheese and Foie Gras, and combined with bacon and red meat goodness, all I can say is WOW. I liked the maple glazed cipollini but I found it a bit too sweet. Sean however had a love affair with them and I wouldn't be surprised if he sneaks daydreams about them.

We had the regular duck fat French fries but I have been told we should have upgraded to the Short-rib and Cheddar Fries (but hey now we have an excuse to go back!).

Another Garces great, I can't wait to visit again!


David Mack on Electric Ant, an amazing in-depth interview / Interview by M. Sean McManus

An ELECTRIC ANT is an organic robot, made up of wires and powered by electricity; it is also a hard covered graphic novel by Marvel Comics.

Created by David Mack (w), Pascal Alixe (a), and Christopher Sotomayor (c), "Philip K. Dick's Electric Ant" adapts the original story behind the future noir classics, "Blade Runner" and subsequently "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep". I don't think I need to explain to you how important those works are to modern pop culture and science fiction, but in case you do-- it's huge.

In the dreamlike tale of "Philip K. Dick's Electric Ant", Garson Poole wakes up to discover he's been in an accident and now his whole world is changed. The doctors tell him he is not the man he thought he was, he's not even a man at all. Poole is an electricant, an "Electric Ant", a machine programmed like any other. Unlike other machines from the future, Garson Poole does not hunt humans-- he hunts reality. Garson wonders why he was programmed, by whom, and to what purpose? When Garson Poole begins tinkering with his internal programming tape-- reality bends, time breaks. Imagine a walking, talking, face tripping terminator; that is "Philip K. Dick's Electric Ant".

I enjoyed the comic thoroughly and I'm honored that David Mack, author of the adaptation, was willing to spend a little of his Thanksgiving holiday talking with me in-depth about "Philip K. Dick's Electric Ant".


MSM: David, thanks for taking time to talk about this with me. To start off, can you tell me how Electric Ant came about? Was it a project you put together and pitched to Marvel and ESP, or did ESP bring it to Marvel and you were approached by Marvel?

David Mack: I offered the project to Marvel after I was already working on it with Philip K. Dick’s daughters, Isa & Laura. The producer of the Scanner Darkly film, Tommy Pallotta introduced me to Isa & Laura after he showed them Kabuki and they had discussed me adapting Philip K. Dick to comics and graphic novels. Tommy Pallotta put the idea in motion for me to adapt PKD. Tommy also produced the film Waking Life (also directed by Richard Linklater) and he had contacted me in 2003 to work on a project with Hampton Fancher, the screenwriter for Blade Runner, and Jonathon Lethem the novelist who happens to be a Philip K. Dick scholar.

Tommy had picked up the Kabuki: Metamorphosis graphic novel in a bookstore in New York and then tracked me down for that project (with Fancher & Lethem) in 2003. Then a couple of years ago, when Tommy had finished the Scanner Darkly film, the latest Kabuki film option had expired at Fox and Tommy was interested in making the Kabuki film as his next film, so we began discussing that. Mostly on long bike rides on the beach at Santa Monica and Malibu. At that time I had just finished reading a biography of Philip K. Dick while working on The Alchemy, and Tommy and I began to discuss PKD quite a bit.

Tommy showed my work to Philip K. Dick’s daughters who run Electric Shepherd Productions and he suggested the idea of adapting PKD stories into graphic novels for the first time. They liked the idea, and Tommy and I, along with advice from Jonathan Lethem went about combing the prolific works of PKD in search for the right story to start with. We decided on Electric Ant for specific reasons and I worked out my approach to the story. Tommy and I met with Philip K. Dick’s daughters Laura and Isa in Santa Monica for a long lunch during which I explained ideas for the approach of the adaptation. They liked the approach and we were all on the same page creatively. Laura and Isa revealed that some publishers had heard that we were developing this and they already had offers from publishers.

I suggested to Isa and Laura that Marvel would be a very interesting publisher for this project. Marvel had great success with adapting author Stephen King to comics, and I offered that it could be an epic event if Marvel were to do the first comic book adaptation of the master of Science Fiction as well. The idea being that we could start with Electric Ant, and if well received, continue adapting more PKD stories. Perhaps choosing a different artist for each different story. I asked Isa and Laura if they would mind if I met with Marvel to offer the project to Marvel. Isa and Laura were intrigued by the idea and gave me their blessing. So after the New York Comic-Con in February 2007, I met with Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley at the Marvel offices to discuss this endeavor. He liked the idea, Marvel, and the Philip K. Dick Estate were introduced to each other, and thus began many, many months of working out the business relationship between the two houses of ideas.

I’ve been pals with Paul Pope since way back, so I knew he was a PKD fan, and I thought he would be perfect to do the covers. So I asked him if he was interested and he was into it. Brian Michael Bendis and I are big admirers of Blade Runner, so I asked him if he was interested in being a part of the project and he was into it.

Then Tommy, the Dick Estate, and I looked at the work of many artists that Marvel editor Mark Paniccia sent our way, and we thought Pascal would be great on it. So I was approached by Tommy Pallotta working with the Dick Estate, and then we worked together to cultivate the project and find the right home for it.

MSM: Awesome, what drew you to this tale of PKD's?

David Mack: We (Jonathon Lethem, Tommy Pallotta & I) chose this story as the first adaptation of PKD into comics because we felt the story has what we considered the classic quintessential Philip K. Dick-ian themes. The Electric Ant is a short story that Philip K. Dick wrote in the sixties. The germ of the idea of Electric Ant became the basis for Electric Sheep which became the film Blade Runner. Philip K. Dick would often take some ideas from his short stories that he thought were gems, and flesh them out into the larger format as a novel.

The Electric Ant asks the enduring existential questions: Who am I? Who created me? What was I created for? What is the meaning of my life? Do I have free will? Am I limited by my programming? Can I evolve into something beyond my original programming? What is reality? Is the way I perceive reality different than a fixed reality? Can I alter my perceptions to transcend my ego and programming limitations and see a pure reality? Does my internal reality affect the external reality? Which is more real?

MSM: Can you speak a little about your writing process? When adapting from one media to another, how did you decide what elements to retain from the original and what to delete or modify?

David Mack: The adaptation is very true to the original story, but there was more room to develop things that are only hinted at in the short story. In this case, that was one of the advantages of adapting a short story instead of a novel. In adapting a novel to film or graphic novel, you may have to edit it down. It can be a reductive process. With this story, I was able to let it develop organically into the new format in ways that expand on ideas and scenes that are only hinted at in the short story. It is not identical to the short story, but we decided early on that it was going to be very true to the source material. We did not want to change it into a different story with only minor similarities. Everything that is in the short story is adapted into this version, but things that are suggested in the original story are given more room to flesh out. Some ideas and details that are mentioned only once at the beginning of the short story now have room to return with a twist. And there is a sort of love story that developed. It is not an action story though there is action in it. It became a kind of mystery and a love story with the mystery being these existential questions that I mentioned, it all begins when the protagonist begins searching for answers.

A man wakes up in the hospital from a traffic accident only to have the doctor tell him they cannot treat him because he is a robot. He then has a lot of questions. Who made him? Who owns him? What is his program? Can he alter it? Has he been walking around seeing things differently than they really are? I wrote the script into the story that I would write if I were turning the short story into a film.

It was most important to me to be respectful to Philip K. Dick’s story, to communicate the themes by taking advantage of the new opportunities that the comic book medium offers, and that my version would ring true to his daughters Laura and Isa. I can’t tell you how happy I was that Philip K. Dick’s daughters liked the script that I wrote. That meant everything to me.

MSM: What was the biggest change from the original material, and why did you feel the need to change it? In other words what were the creative challenges it presented?

David Mack: The biggest challenge was that in the original short story, the main character is mostly alone, and thinking to himself. The characters of Danceman & Sarah are in the short story, but briefly. In my comic book adaptation, I let the characters of Sarah & Danceman develop more and they gave opportunity for the protagonist to voice his thoughts through interaction and discussion with these external characters, instead of him thinking most of the action the way it happened in the original short story. This gave more visual opportunity between the characters and room for all of the characters to develop because of that and it lead to the biggest change from the original story, in that there is a kind of love story that develops in the adaptation.

MSM: David, you are a consummate creator, in that you both write and do your own art-- with that in mind, I was struck by the parallels between your role as a creator, and Garson Poole's experimental manipulation of his reality, of time & space, and the editing of reality as presented in story form. Can you speak a little about that and if there was any aspect of this story you felt a deeper connection with other than simply being a "gig".

David Mack: I like the comparison that you are making and I relate to that in terms of us creating our own reality, our own life narrative, all the time, and the act of creating (writing or drawing) comics and books and films is a perfect metaphor for that, as is the character in this story.

Giving the main character an idea of programming, the idea that he has natural inclinations for what he is “hard wired” to do, to see, to enjoy, to pursue, is something that I think is a good metaphor that most humans can relate too. Also the idea that there are things in his program that are naturally edited out of his daily narrative before they make it to his conscious frontal awareness is also, I think, comparable to the unconscious and conscious editing that happens with all of us on a daily bases.

Once we become aware that our reality is limited by these things, what we perceive, what we project, and that we have blind spots about things that we are not perceiving, that epiphany that we are not at all living in an objective linear reality because of our blind spots and our programming (from nature and nurture)... when we become aware of these things and that our reality can indeed be influenced by our own thought and actions more than we realized, we then have a liberty and a responsibility, even a mission, to be more consciously intent about how we create the narrative of our lives.

I know that I related to this character very much when I was writing this story. They character is, in fact, very close to the way that I often think, act, and speak regarding my interaction with others. People have told me that the character speaks in my voice. He is a very earnest character. He’s trying to do his best. But he becomes aware that there is a gap between how he sees things and reacts to things and how other people see things and how he is expected to react in certain social situations. I relate to this in a very personal way.

I work with an art studio for artists with Autism, Asperger’s and other challenges and there are a lot of correlations between how these people navigate the world and the point of view that is presented in Electric Ant. I have Autism and Asperger's in my family and you could even view the protagonist’s earnest efforts to understand and relate to others and interact with the world while being made aware that he has certain blind spots and “hard-wired” inclinations to those of the person with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

I don’t really talk about this much in a professional setting, but it is something that I deal with everyday and very personal to me and I could not ignore the similarities that occurred to me in writing this story. I very much related to Garson Poole in the story.

I try to avoid labels which is the point of the art studio that I work with (so that people with these challenges can be seen in a venue as artists first for what they can do, rather than through the lens of a label with connotations of what is perceived as their deficiencies), but I think author Chuck Palahniuk mentioned this in regards to me publicly at some point, and it is something that occurred to me in the course of this character.

MSM: That is great, I had no idea of your involvement with all of that, and I'm really glad to find out how personally you connect with this project. Funny enough I do now see a certain resemblance to you and the image of Poole on the Hardcover-- something about the shape of the eyes maybe?

Again, I really enjoyed Electric Ant, I think everyone who's a fan of your work or Philip K. Dick should check it out. Is there anything else you'd like to mention?

David Mack: I’m very happy with the Hard Cover collection of "Philip K. Dick's Electric Ant". It has some extra features in the back as well. There are 16 cover drawings from Paul Pope that have never been seen before and there are character designs and sketchbook images. At my facebook page you can see the step by step art process of my cover painting that is on the Hardcover.

If you are not that familiar with my other work, I’d recommend reading my most recent Kabuki collection called The Alchemy. I think it my most evolved work as a writer and an artist and the most diverse art approaches throughout the story. You can also check out my children’s book The Shy Creatures and I have new series coming out from Marvel called Dream Logic.

You can find detailed information about all of these on my facebook or twitter (davidmackkabuki) or the fan site of my work: Davidmackguide.com which is updated daily.

MSM: One last quick thing since Mary is always talking about food here: What is your favorite meal?

David Mack: I like sashimi. Mackerel, Salmon & eel are my favorite. Also Thai soups.

MSM: Great, thanks again for your time, David.

David Mack: You're welcome. Thank you, Sean.


Yelp Review - Brave New Worlds

A comic shop review - yay!! After these guys helped me with my newest THE WALKING DEAD obsession this past week I knew I needed to post about them on Yelp.

4 star rating

My pals Mike Oeming and Bryan Glass (creators of the comic MICE TEMPLAR) signed here and I came in to visit them during that event a few years ago. The staff suggested drinks at one of my fave bars, Sugar Moms, after the signing and I knew I had found my new LCS.

Always helpful staff, they will help you find the book you're looking for and not at all pretentious like some other comic shops can be. A great selection of comics (indie and mainstream), graphic novels and collectibles. They have some DARTH MAUL swag that I've never seen which is no small feat as I have a pretty healthy obsession with this particular STAR WARS villain.

They also have a book club which is basically like a frequent buyer card w/o carrying around a card. Spend a certain amount of money and you get store credit. Simple and sweet!


My Thanksgiving Menu 2010

I have yet to attempt a huge Thanksgiving Dinner with the family and instead I like to cook for just 1 or 2 people, usually just the boyfriend of course! But we have a nice time relaxing and cooking all day. Here is the menu I have decided upon for Thxgiving 2010:

~ Apps ~
Shrimp Dip recipe (From Family Circle, recipe not available on web site)
Chips + Dip (a simple bu
t classic app, we usually never have chips let alone dip so it's a treat)
Cocktail Weenies!

~ Veggies / Fruit ~
Brussels Sprouts with haricort verts and Bacon (Recipe from Family Circle ====> here)
Mustard + Cranberry Relish (From last year's Bon Appetit; Sean and I really liked this dish so we're doing it again. You can find the recipe ====> here)

~ Starch ~
Sean's roasted garlic mashed potatoes (a tried and true recipe for amazing potatoes!)

~ Bread ~
Grand's layers
Stovetop Stuffing
(both require little preparation leaving me more time for the...)

~ Turkey ~
8-12 lb fresh turkey from Fair Food Farmstand, courtesy of Koch Farms in Tamaqua - Sean will be picking up our turkey the day before Thanksgiving. I am going to be using a combination of Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe and a herbed butter coating for the outside which I adapated from a recipe my sister Shacky shared with me. I've made this same turkey the past 2 Thanksgivings and really have no desire to change it. Basically b/c it's really really tasty!

~ Dessert ~
Turtle Pumpkin Pie (from the Kraft.com website - my friend Dan Berger recommended this non-bake / non-mechanical blender recipe which you can find ====> here
The dessert, veggies, and shrimp dip are new recipes but making the dessert and shrimp dip the night before means I can concentrate on the turkey and brussels sprouts on the "Big Day," while also leisurely making the cranberry relish and letting Sean concentrate on the mashed potatoes. I want a low stress day whilst simultaneously preparing a mini-feast for the 2 of us. We will have THE ICE STORM on at some point during the day as it's one of my personal traditions. Can you tell I'm excited?


Yelp Review - Friday Saturday Sunday

Photo of Mary B.



Mary B.

Pop Culture + Comic Book Blogger, Foodie, Phillies fan

Philadelphia, PA

4 star rating

I just took my girlfriend here for her birthday this past Saturday and I must say it was a great dining experience. I made reservations a few days before and took it as a good sign that the only times available were 5:30 + 9:30 pm. We opted for the former and were the first to arrive when they opened.

I loved the seating they provided to us; we were in a nice little nook in the back on a catercorner bench. The low lighting and ambiance was just spot-on. It seems like a great place for couples, very romantic.

I did not peruse the menu online beforehand per my usual M.O., but I did read some reviews right here on Yelp. I had the mushroom soup b/c I read so many reviews that recommended it. I am not usually a mushroom soup person but this was pretty good. I really loved my entrée which was the crab cakes. My friend got the Chicken Dijon, the small plates portion which turned out to be the perfect size for a no leftovers dinner. I tried her chicken and was blown away by the taste but my crab cakes with the spicy remolaude was just as good.

The check was on the pricey side but I would consider it well worth it for the overall package. Friday Saturday Sunday will be added to my list of "special occasion" restaurants alongside Butcher + Singer and Bistrot La Minette.


Yelp Review - Quince Fine Foods

I am going to try something new and start posting my Yelp reviews as I write them. My blossoming food obsession over the past few years has been sharing more and more of my time with my (still) healthy pop culture interest. Hope you enjoy :
QUINCE FINE FOODS - 209 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 232-3425

Photo of Mary B.



Mary B.

Pop Culture + Comic Book Blogger, Foodie, Phillies fan

Philadelphia, PA

5 star rating

I wish I knew about this place sooner but glad we found it only a few months into moving back to Philly. We were in search of soup and didn't want to drive over to Center City for DiBruno Bros so the Yelp search app suggested this place, right near our apt to boot! The owner was super nice, we got the 7 Herbed Chicken soup which comes with a roll. The selection of cheeses was so tempting, believe me when I say it is good to know that Cambozola is available only a few blocks from my house!

The soup was absolutely lovely and made it much easier to watch NO RESERVATIONS that evening; I felt like the food I was eating was better than the food Bourdain was touting on his show!

I will be happy to support this small shop in the future and if you're in the No-Libs / Girard area then you should too !


~Till Next Time Kittlings!


Zombie TV ... They've Got Their Visions Again Like It's Oxygen

Zombie’s all up in your TV grill !

Tis the season … for the living dead. Let me hip you to a couple great series that you should be checking out NOW or soon.

DEAD SET (IFC) – This British import premiered Monday at Midnight on IFC and runs consecutively at the Witching Hour (12am) all this week. The concept of this show combines your typical Zombie flick (outbreak, widespread panic and carnage...zombie and human alike) with that of the typical reality show -- in this case a fictional BIG BROTHER. As the outside world is literally consumed by the undead, Kelly, a behind the scenes grunt on the show, survives long enough to make her way into the compound that houses the set and keeps the cast safe. They are unaware of the outside chaos but soon enough have to make tough decisions to outlast the zombies waiting just outside their gates.

This show is only 5 episodes (about 3 hours) so the pacing is on par with a movie rather than a TV show. But it is also shot wonderfully and the effects hold up. There are some cameos that only British Big Brother / sketch comedy watchers may realize (Bubble or Big Train anyone?) but nevertheless this is a great series worth checking out ! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that IFC shows this more than just this week !

THE WALKING DEAD (AMC) - This series premieres on Halloween at 10pm which does sound creepy enough but I hope they replay this bad boy because I know plenty of people that treat the 'ween like a major holiday and will no doubt be out partying. Set your Tivo kittlings ! I was blown away by the 1st episode, while it may share a common theme (ZOMBIES DUH!) with DEAD SET this series is in for the long haul. Based on the critically (and fanboy) acclaimed comic book by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, THE WALKING DEAD is not set at a breakneck pace but instead balances the gore with a focus on human relationships and emotions. The main character is police officer Rick Grimes, whom enters a 28 DAYS LATER-like coma after being shot, only to awake to find the world in utter decay and disarray due to the zombie apocalypse. He is able to escape from the hospital and make his way back to the home he shared with his wife and son only to find it long since abandoned. Rick finds other humans along the way and learns that Atlanta was declared a safe haven before the world entered radio silence. Rick decides to make his way to Hot-lanta believing his family has fled there ... only to discover it's not so safe as he was lead to believe.

THE WALKING DEAD shares some similarities with DEAD SET apart from the obvious zombie-stricken plot. Neither series is driven by actors that you will readily recognize. Both series have decent effects, although I am sure that DEAD SET relied less on CGI and more on shaky-cam (but both work nevertheless). They also both have a main character that is dealing with some sort of family / relationship issue although I enjoy the fact that each shows character is on the opposite side of the spectrum when it comes to said relationship.

But from what I've seen of THE WALKING DEAD, this is where the similarities end. THE WALKING DEAD is planned as an ongoing series. Where DEAD SET is set at breakneck pace and contains mostly action, THE WALKING DEAD is really focused on the people whom have survived and the relationships they have both sacrificed and fought to keep alive. The scope of the outbreak is not really defined in DEAD SET, there just simply isn't the time allotted to do so. More background is provided with THE WALKING DEAD; we don't necessarily know the cause of the zombies but the fact that the outbreak is widespread and the symptoms / causes are outlined gives me more of a ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE / WORLD WAR Z feeling. There is a vastness and sense of endless possibilities that THE WALKING DEAD provides that DEAD SET does not.

Don't get me wrong, to miss either of these offerings is a travesty for any zombie lover, it simply proves that not every zombie tale is alike. You will not be disappointed in either show! Viva La Zombie ! < === bit of an oxymoron eh? =============================== Finally, because Halloween is an aforementioned major holiday for me, let me take you back to 1986 and a personal favorite of both mine and my sister Shacky. The movie: THE WORST WITCH starring Fairuza Balk (THE CRAFT) and Tim Curry (ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW). The song: "Anything can happen on Halloween" sung by Tim Curry with amazing effects provided by Brian Harris and Tom McKerrow. Uh...I don't know who they are either but trust me, these effects are "special!". Feast your eyes on this...and I wish you a very Haunted Halloween!

~Till Next Time Kittlings !


SECRET PROJECT #11 - Thirty Thousand Feet w/Michael Woods + David Miller

Welcome to the last SECRET PROJECT interview as THIRTY THOUSAND FEET is the final story in our anthology. It's been a long hard road but we have produced (what I think to be) an amazing collection of stories from some of the most talented message boardies I've even known! Many thanks to Mike Oeming and his Jinxworld forum for bringing us all together.

My final interview is with Michael Woods (writer of SP#11 in addition to being an editor I really look up to!) and David Miller, artist of THIRTY THOUSAND FEET. Please enjoy !
Mary E. Brickthrower: How long have you been reading comics?

David Miller: Well the first comics I read were Disney's The Fox and The Hound. 3 of them came in a pack and I was around 6 or 7 years old. I'm not sure I them more than looked at them. I was heavily into X-men, Spawn, Cerebus and Madman through highschool. Lately I read the spectrum of comics, there's so many good ones. I'm always there for Walking Dead, 100 Bullets and DMZ.

Michael Woods: Since I was old enough to walk down to the corner 7-11 on my own. Mostly war comics like The Nam and Semper Fi and that was probably because my father was in the Army reserves when I was a kid. I looked up to him quite a bit and still do, truth be told.

MEB: When did you decide to become an artist?

DM: I've always been drawing stuff ever since I can remember. Always been the artist kid in class. I had never considered to persue comics until Herbe Trimpe came to school in the 6th grade to lecture. On an overhead projector he showed us some of the published Hulk and GI Joe pages he'd done. Then he drew some faces of Hulk, Wolverine and Thor. It was a good day. Later my father send me to "college for Kids" with Paul Abrams teaching the ropes of comics. More good times.

MEB: What about you Michael? When did you decide to work in comics?

MW: I think it was in high school that I made the conscious decision to be a writer. Before that and as far back as I can remember, I'd been making up stories when playing with my toys and while drawing whatever bit of crazy I could imagine. It's just a part of who I am, I guess.

MEB: How did you become involved with SECRET PROJECT?

DM: First time I've heard I was a part of it! But I guess Mike's been hard at work behind the scenes- Good to know. I met Mike on the Digital Webbing forum talent search. Thirty Thousand Feet was an eight pager we did some time back. That led us to one of the stories in his OUTLAW TERRITORY anthology GUTSHOT. It was a descriptive script with dialogue that was still being written. I look foreward to see how it turned out.

MW: Who can remember? I was probably drunk at the time.

MEB: What else are you working on right now?

DM: About five things that I can think of in the works right now:
WICKED is written by Orlando Harding about an Angel and a Demon having Apple Martini's and sharing stories. They're jobs come face to face at the end of the book. It'll be around 70 pages. I'm on 48 now. The colors that Paul Little are doing are amazeing!
MONARCHY is written by Mandy McMurry with digital paints by the artist Oracle. I got the script the other day and I've thumbed out 10 pages. It's still really early - probably to even mention. But I like how the story is unfolding and I always enjoy Mandy's work. She's goooooood.
CARBIDE SOFTWARE will be luanching soon started by a friend since childhood. It's a new company that makes game apps for the BlackBerry. I've supplied the art for 2 games. One is in the can and the other I'm halfway through. I make the art and he codes the game. He's insane good at this stuff and I'm very excited to see how people react to them.
DINNER I will be eating and digesting in the very near future. Chinese home delivery - my favorite.

MW: Well, Outlaw Territory volume two is finally ready for solicitation. I also have a graphic novel on the way called Bruised Peach (Image) with artist Dan Duncan. I also have a story going up on Act-I-Vate soon with artist Eduardo Mederos and next year will see a new book I'm working on with Tim Kane that should be pretty awesome.

I probably forgot something, but chances are people stopped listening to me after question #2.

MEB: Thanks so much guys!!
(From Top: Photo 1 : David Miller, Photo 2: Art from Thirty Thousand Feet, Photo 3: Michael Woods)
~Till Next Time Kittlings!


SECRET PROJECT #10 - FLAG OF TEARS w/Rob Reilly + Jeff Brown

We're in the homestretch of SECRET PROJECT and what a ride it's been. This week we're focusing on the creators of FLAG OF TEARS, and they just happen to be 2 of my closest friends. I interview Jeff Brown and Rob Reilly about their past and present. Enjoy!

Mary E. Brickthrower: How long have you been reading comics?

Jeff Brown: I have been reading comics since I was about 7, I jumped onboard with the typical Marvel and DC books. When I was 14 I found more indie books, like SCUD The Disposable Assassin, Love and Rockets, and Mad Man. During the 90’s I left after all the sagas and variant covers, I was brought back to comics by a book by a good friend (Mike Oeming) called Bastard Samurai, which led to Powers, Ultimate Spider–Man and now I will read just about anything that comes out.

Rob Reilly: When I was a kid (age 5-10 years old), I never really “read” comics. I mostly looked at the pictures. I’m a visual person first and foremost. My dad had stacks of old DC Comics from when he was a kid, so that’s how I got introduce to them. There were a few years where I didn’t read, look at or collect comics and then when I was 13 or 14 I really started reading comics, mostly anything Todd McFarlane and have continued since then expanding my tastes from small press, independent creator owned to a few of the major company titles. Which has been a great inspiration for me, other people’s work makes me want to create more and work harder.
MEB: When did you decide to become a writer?

JB: I think it just happened, I was six and can remember creating stories and movies with the action figures I got as gifts. I would recreate things I saw on TV then I quickly started making my own story lines and eventual crossing heroes and villains over just because I thought it was cool. I also was teaching myself how to draw so that helped me visualize what I wanted to do. While I grew up the art took a side step, my parents were incredibly supportive of my art career, though high school is where I caught the writing and directing bug. The knowing that I created and crafted something was so much more appealing at that time. I have not stopped writing or creating since. I was very thankful to meet an incredible group of people thanks to exploring my creative side. So it’s worked out.

MEB: What about you Rob? When did you decide that you wanted to be an artist?

RR: I knew that I wanted to be a cartoonist since I was 5 years old, in my mind there was no greater profession. At that time (and currently) I was a huge animation nut. I loved watching the old WB cartoons from the 40’s and 50’s as well as the Disney catalogue. I suppose that I really didn’t narrow my career choice until I started college. I felt that I would never have the patience to be an animator and comics would be a faster and more convenient way to get my voice/work out there.

MEB: How did you become involved with SECRET PROJECT?

JB: It’s weird. I went to the jinxworld forums and tried to make myself known of the Bendis board, but found that to be a bit too...not overwhelming, but crowded we'll say. Then I found the Oeming board and started "the big bad Oeming Q&A" thread, which was my way of getting to know Mike, and by proxy everyone else on the board. Later on once we became really comfortable and met pretty much everyone face to face, we started joking about everyone having a secret project, and once we decided to do this project I hopped on board. I will say that I did not have an artist at the start, but I could not be more grateful and thankful to Mary, Sean and Rob. Rob was a great guy to work with and I felt we both knew where we wanted the story to go, and this story wouldn’t be here without his incredible talents.

RR: I remember that this was discussed for sometime on the Jinxworld forum. At first, I really had no interest since previous attempts were made and I had spent time on pages that never saw the light of day. So I waited to make sure that this was a serious venture and once it was clear that this was and you guys still needed an extra story, I was on board.
MEB: What else are you guys working on right now?

JB: Right now I am the co creator of Dorkshelf.com, where I am the comic content editor, podcast host, cameraman, and host with my friend Will. We are growing the site with a voice for all things dorky in Toronto or with the Toronto twist. I have also completed the follow up to Flag of Tears, and have several other script projects for comics and television/ film looking for homes. Dorkshelf.com is my primary focus these days so come by and comment and let us know what ya think.

RR: I recently finished a short story for the Shrek Prequel published through Ape Entertainment. Currently I am awaiting approval for a new Dreamworks Animation property that will be work comic book format and illustrating another Shrek short for an upcoming issue.

In addition, I have been working on a new creator-owned mini series with my friend Steve Walters. We have about 1 1/2 issues in the can and are looking for a publisher.

Lastly, in the upcoming fall, I will have an original graphic novel released through Ape Entertainment that I had complete a year or so ago, titled “Planet Zoo”. Be sure to keep a weather eye on that book and order it like crazy!

You can see more of my work by visiting www.skatoonproductions.blogspot.com

MEB: Thanks guys!