Monday, December 28, 2009

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: Jimmy Palmiotti

Welcome back kiddies! This time I tricked Jimmy Palmiotti to come down into the dungeon. So go on and take a look at what he had to say when he woke up and found out he was trapped in the interview chair.

Alright lets start out with a short answer section and get the usual out of the way.

Name: Jimmy Palmiotti

Age: OLD


Snakes, Raccoons, Hawks, Lizards and Armadillos. I just call them by what they are. They are all in my yard.

Highest Education Level:
Art Students League and NYC Tech

High School Mascot:
A paintbrush

First Job:
Mowing my aunts lawn or shoveling snow.

Favorite outdoor activity:

Staying with short answers lets talk about what you do.

Writer, artist, creator of weird things.

Comic(s) you created Before July 4, 1985:
None other than the ones in my bottom drawer.

July 5, 1985 - September 1, 2009:
too many to mention....thats what google is for.

September 2, 2009 - Tomorrow:
Powergirl, Jonah Hex, Last Resort, Time Bomb, Splatterman.

Alright all that stuff aside lets get to the meat of the interview.

What do you do when not making comics?
I spend a lot of time with Amanda Conner...we eat, swim, travel, go to movies, bowl, conventions, visit friends, shop, beach and all sorts of normal things.

Your Ipod breaks and it gets stuck on one band. What band are you hoping it is?
Probably my classical music section. Easiest to work to.

Your join the Army and while at boot camp you are given a serum. What are you hoping you turn into?
Someone that isn't in the army anymore and can turn invisible at will.

When you were 10 what were you for Halloween?
I think I was a skeleton, always loved them.

Favorite comic character when you were 9 and 13 and 16?
9: Superman
13: Hulk
16: Conan

When it comes to tv what are you watching?
Big Bang Theory, Medium, Rescue Me and films on IFC.

Sports wise, who ya rooting for?
NY teams always. Right now, Yankees.

Back to comic stuff for now.

Knowing that Iceman is the greatest hero of all time, why do you think he is so underused?
Because he isn't the greatest hero of all time. He is a buff snowman.

Alright your making a comic about a 7 year old girl who gets lost in woods with nothing but a pocket knife and a canteen full of gasoline. Whats the name of the book and sell me on a quick pitch? Go!
HAPPY ON THE SURFACE: A girl goes into the woods chasing after her parents killer. She eventually tracks him down with the help of the animals living in the woods . The big reveal is that its her uncle Harry, and he was responsible for repeated rape years before and disappeared until that very night to kill her family. Betty, the girl, was unfamiliar with the woods and left a trail of gasoline behind her ...until she catches her uncle sleeping next to a tree. She then pours the gas all over him...stabs him in the groin with a pocket knife and lights him on fire. As he burns alive we see a demon that resembles a spider monkey covered in tar, rip out of his stomach and run deeper into the woods. Betty follows the gasoline trail now on fire back to her home and calls the authorities to deal with her butchered parents. The end.

We all know how good you are can write a story or two but what can you do with some dental floss, 2 rabbits feet and a slotted spoon?
I can throw them out my car window while doing 90 and cause major damage to some poor bastard on a bicycle.

Where is the real money at in comic creating?
Owning the property...the character.

When your making comics whats going on around you? Music, what kind? Silence? TV on?

5 years from now. Where do you see yourself?
In my house, hopefully less fat with a good amount of money in the bank.

Alright we can finish up with a quick word association game. I will say a word, you give me a quick one sentence response.

Last Resort? 5 issues from IDW, out now.

Zombies? Done to death

Horror Comics?
Love them

Pot Belly Pigs? Tasty

Muffins? Vagina

Muppets? Felt put to good use.

The number 8? Octopus

Towels? Shower

Decapitated Dan? Lost without a head.

Thanks Jimmy

If you want to know more about Jimmy Palmiotti you can check out his blog @

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: David Lillie

Welcome back kiddies! This time we welcome David Lillie into the dungeon. Sit back and relax as he tells us about who he is, what he does, and what we can expect from him in the future. Trust me, you will like what you read!

Decapitated Dan: Hey David. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me about Dreamkeepers and any other projects your working on. First of all lets talk about you. Who are you and what do you do?

David Lillie: Who am I... Well, I'm an art college grad who works as a night shift security guard. While it's not the most glory-drenched career, it does give me the valuable opportunity to pay bills while working with my wife Liz on our books. Doing art professionally wound up sapping all my time and energy, whereas now that my joe-job doesn't tap into my creative time I can pursue the comic much more effectively.

DD: How did you find yourself getting into making comics?

DL: It was kind of a boomerang effect. I was a picky kid, so I never read many comics growing up. I drew a lot, though - from the time I was twelve until I graduated high school, I wrote & drew my own 7-part comic series. Art college kept me too busy for creativity over the next four years, but I did have time to snowball an animated series concept with a friend. After researching the business end of Hollywood, I realized it was eminently unlikely a nobody like me could pitch a cartoon and retain creative control. At that point creative control was becoming very important to me, as I was falling in love with the characters and the story... So the natural choice was to return to comics, and enjoy storytelling with no restraints.

DD: So what can you tell me about Dreamkeepers?

DL: If I could only live once, it's the story I'd want to tell. And by all indications that is indeed the case, so I'm getting right to work. It takes everything colorful and fun that I love about cartooning, and applies it to a story which doesn't pander to children. Dreamkeepers doesn't fit on the fantasy shelf next to the sword and sorcery books - but neither does it match adventure, horror, romance, or humor genres precisely... It kind of has a life of its own. I know that probably sounds terribly pretentious, but the project really does have a layered scope to it. The challenge so far has been using that to intensify the narrative, rather than dilute it.

DD: What's it all about?

DL: Demonic nightmares infiltrating the Dreamworld to butcher our otherworldly counterparts, the dreamkeepers. Once they kill off the dreamkeepers, they'll have access to our unconscious minds while we dream, which is a bad thing. (Dreamkeepers are basically cartoonish animal influenced versions of ourselves.) The story begins with some young dreamkeepers who really have no awareness of the events that are beginning to take shape - they have their own personal lives to worry about. But as the impending bloodshed begins to gather momentum, they get caught in the undertow, and in the end become key players in the unfolding cataclysm. I guess I would call it an epic of personal proportions.

DD: Who are the main characters?

DL: Things kick off with Mace and Whip - two dirt-poor orphans with big plans and a talent for creating trouble. They're contrasted against Lilith and Namah, the upper-class daughters of the elected Viscount - although Namah is illegitimate and concealed from the public. This contributes to her perennially cheery perspective on life. We get to show their childhood back stories in our weekly web comic 'Prelude', which is considerably more light-hearted than the graphic novels. Monsters haven't started eating people yet.

DD: Where did this idea come from?

DL: A college roommate and I brainstormed some on the basic premise - what would it be like if there was something to protect our dreams while we slept? What would a story taking place in the Dreamworld be like? Over the summer, I hit the library with books on dreaming, the unconscious, dreams in human mythology and ancient culture... And began to draw up the cast members for the series. I continued doing concept art and developing the idea all through my last year in college, right up until we started the first graphic novel.

DD: What are you hoping readers can take away from this story?

DL: I honestly have no idea. I certainly hope others enjoy it, and the feedback I've gotten so far has been extraordinarily supportive. But really, I just have this vivid, enticing vision in my head of what this story could be. It seems almost like a real and independent thing, and I want to do everything I can to bring it into the world properly.

DD: Can you talk a bit about the coloring process on your books. From what I have seen this is one of the highlights aside from the story.

DL: Photoshop and I get along rather well. My stint in art college was useful in exposing me to some of the lighting techniques used in digital animation... Although I don't apply 3-D software to Dreamkeepers, the lighting principles and experience show. Everything is done manually in Photoshop with layers and adjustment layers - I actually have a brief tutorial up on Youtube that shows how it works. The end goal is to do more than simply create a believable alternate reality, of course. The settings must have mood, impact - they're really an unseen character all their own. Creating something immersive for the reader is always a goal, and I believe helps magnify the impact of the events being portrayed.

DD: When all the volumes are done, can we expect a larger book collecting them?

DL: Certainly! I'm expecting a collection someday, and self publishing conveniently puts me in a position to make those kinds of calls. Assuming I don't utterly fail, of course - but I'm not planning on doing that.

DD: What can we expect from you in the future?

DL: In the next few months, I'll be finishing the Dreamkeepers website and getting digital book sales available on the first two books. That will dramatically lower the buy-in price for prospective customers, and I hope to expand my audience as I finish the 3rd Volume of the graphic novel saga over the next year or so. After that? I'll start book 4. Eventually I want to be the first independent comic publisher to take an idea truly mainstream, and have the financial ability to publish other creators as well. Or at least that's what I like to imagine as I stroll through my security site at night.

DD: What comics are you currently reading?

DL: There's a fantastic webcomic titled Lackadaisy that I've been enjoying, and I've also been revisiting my childhood Calvin and Hobbes collection lately.

DD: So in summary give me a quick recap on Dreamkeepers and why fans should give it a try.

DL: Well, it's good, and neat, and... Alright, I suck at self promoting. Drawing is easier. Listen folks, just read Dan's review, or go to my site - I've posted a ton of reader and professional feedback on the graphic novel page. See what they're saying, poke around, read some of the free stuff, and see if you'd be interested in following what Liz and I are making. We'd love to have you visit.

DD: Thanks so much David. I hope people can jump on board and check out your books. I know I have been really impressed by what I have been able to check out so far.

If you would like to know more about Dreamkeepers please check out David's site

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just posted 5 new reviews. Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, A Very Zombie Christmas #1, The Field on the Edge of the Woods #1, FVZA #2 and Incarnate (full series).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: Darick Robertson

Welcome back kiddies! This time we welcome Darick Robertson, all around bad ass artist, into the dungeon. He tells us about his comics, and so much more. So enjoy!

Alright lets start out with a short answer section and get the Usual out of the way.

Name: If you don't already know, this will be a pointless interview.

Age: Old enough,.. yadda yadda

Married/Single/Dating/Other: Married to a formerly Single woman who I was Dating and no Other since.

Pets: Cat, Tango. Rat, Kirby.

Highest Education Level: Just High School and the School Of Hard Knocks.

High School Mascot: the 'Aragon Don', which I designed for my school and they're still using actually.

First Job: Cook/Cleaner Chicken Unlimited.

Favorite thing to eat at the movies:
Popcorn and Junior Mints.

Staying with short answers lets talk about what you do:

Comic(s) you created Before 1995:
Space Beaver, Ripfire, co-created Nightman and designed all the Strangers for Malibu's Ultraverse.

From 1995 - June 16, 2005:
Transmetropolitan, The Boys.

June 17, 2005 - The end of time:
I'll get back to you on that.

Alright all that stuff aside lets get to the meat of the interview:

What do you do when not making comics?
Spend time with my wife and kids, hang out with friends, travel whenever possible, play guitar and sing.

Favorite TV Shows past and present?
Currently loving: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Weeds, Simpsons and South Park, Entourage, Bored To Death, Curb your Enthusiasm, Flight Of the Conchords.

Favorite past: Spaced, Jekyll, Red Dwarf, Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Malcolm in the Middle...

You're stranded on a desert island for 5 years. You get one comic to read, what is it (trades are allowed)?
I hate these kinds of choices. I'm a mad collector and have as much stuff as I can hold onto. But it would have to come down to my hardcover Frank Miller Batman collection.

When you were 10 what were you for Halloween?

Favorite Music when you were 6, 16 and 26?
6- EARLY Olivia Newton-John (pre-Grease), Abba, and other pop that my older sister listened to.

16- That was my transition year: Van Halen, REO Speedwagon, U2, The Ramones, Joe Jackson, The Smiths The Cure, English Beat, Roxy Music, Talking Heads, Duran Duran, The Stranglers...

26- Mid nineties stuff, all of the above and discovered Jellyfish, Sarah McLachlan, Gin Blossoms, Tori Amos, Better Than Ezra, Del Amitri, Fastball, Green Day, the PIxies,

I give you a remote control car. You get to choose one action figure to put in it to be a driver. Who is that character and where would you take it to play with it?
The most posable one that fits the scale and can look believable behind the wheel, that fits the them of the car.

Back to comic stuff for now. Knowing that Iceman is the greatest hero of all time, why do you think he is so underused?
Too easy to defeat, and acts like jack-ass too often.

If you were to make a comic about the life of a house wife circa 1950. What would the title be and sell me on a quick pitch? Go!
Suburban Hell. 50's house wife by day gets into the occult out of boredom, and turns her life upside down with black magic.

We all know you kick ass drawing ? But what do you really want to do when you grow up?
Too late. If I haven't grown up by now, I'm not going to.

Where is the real money at in comic creating?
In movies.

When you're making comics what's going on around you? Music, what kind? Silence? TV on?
Usually TV on to political blah blah or talk radio, sometimes music when the prior gets to be too much.

10 years from now. Where do you see yourself?
New Zealand.

Alright we can finish up with a quick word association game. I will say a word, you give me a quick one sentence response.

Frankenstein? Poor misunderstood bastard.

Space Beaver?
Poor misunderstood bastard.

Transmetropolitan? A smart choice in the 90's.

Horror Comics?
Awesome and poised for a comeback as soon as people regain a sense of

Fruit Stripe Gum? Delicious and affordable.

Great character never properly exploited.

Marvel Comics?
Owned by Disney.

Pillow Fights? Fun with topless girls in 70's films.

Decapitated Dan?
needs a body.

Darick Robertson? Is done!

Thanks so much Darick.
You bet!

If you want to see what Darick is up to check out his site

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: Alex Thompson

Welcome back kiddies! This time we welcome Alex Thompson, into the dungeon. Sit back and relax as he tells us about who he is, what he does and what we can expect from them in the future. Trust me you will like what you read!

Decapitated Dan: Hey Alex. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me about Approbation Comics and the projects your working on.

Alex Thompson:
Hey, Dan! Always a pleasure. Apologies on the delay… I had the flu. Thankfully, not any of the exotic versions. The basic kind was bad enough!

DD: First of all lets talk about you. Who are you and what do you do?

AT: I am Alex Thompson and I’m a writer. Mostly comic books and screenplays. I also do a little acting and other behind the scenes movie related work.

DD: How did you get into making comics?

I’ve always been a storyteller using a mixture of words and pictures. I always thought I’d tell those stories via television and movies, but those routes were a bit out of my reach due to lack of cash and connections. Then I discovered comics and after analyzing the hell out of them I learned that they were just like television and movies, just on paper. I could tell my stories that way without as much up front cash, plus I’d have more control of the final result.

DD: So what can you tell me about Approbation Comics?

AT: Approbation is the place I can play… do the books I want when and how I want to do them. This is a big deal because in Chinese astrology I’m a Horse sign… we tend not to like being fenced in and like to go all out on projects when the mood strikes us. This tends to not be superhero stories (aren’t there enough of those already out there?!) and are usually of the horror variety.

DD: What's titles do you currently have out? (descriptions of each on if you can)

AT: Our main focus right now is Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies. Right now we have nine issues out via our online store at That’s a big deal for me as I’ve never had nine issues of any one comic title out and we are hard at work on getting issues ten through twelve out! We really would like to get Chaos Campus out there in the local comic shops in the form of graphic novel collections and we’re trying to get people’s help on making that dream a reality via our page at

Some other titles…
Vampires Unlimited, which isn’t your typical love struck, poetry writing, prissy vampires. These were contemporary people who were turned in a science experiment who try to find their way not fitting in with their old lives or the new lives of the supernatural. I’m planning on restarting this series from scratch under the name, The Lazarus Factor.

The Evil Inside and Amour were a horror and romance anthology series I did to experiment with short 7-ish page stories and to try and stretch my writing abilities. It was a fun little exercise with interesting results.

DD: Where did this ideas for all of these titles come from?

AT: There’s this Idea Store online that I order ideas at a bulk rate… okay, I kid (maybe). They come from wherever. They come from excitement, they come from boredom. They come from events and non events. They come from dreams. They come from everywhere. I just try to be receptive when they pop up.

DD: What are you hoping readers can take away from your books?

I’m at a crossroads in my writing career right now… usually I’d be happy with people just enjoying the work and going away with a smile on their face from being entertained. In a way I still want that, which is why I’m doing a book called Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies!

On the other hand, I’m ready to strive for the next level… to touch the soles of the feet of the great writers who really teach a lesson and really make you ponder, think, and possibly change or improve things relating to the human condition.

DD: Can you talk a bit about what it takes to come up with so many different titles?

AT: Haha, huge heaping parts of frustration, restlessness, stubbornness mixed in with a touch of ADD, bi-polarism, and poverty.

DD: How did you go about finding all of these artists for your books?

AT: After doing this stuff for ten years, sometimes I strike up the initial conversation and sometimes I’m the one approached.

What can we expect from you in the future?

AT: More insane, random, and wild fun times with the Chaos Campus series. There are 60 issues of this series planned and I really intend to write “The End” on the last page of that 60th issue. I have the series split into three 20-issue acts… so if I’m not able to do all 60 you’ll at least get the first 20 issues even if it kills me.

Blood, Shells, & Roses through Arcana. I’ve been saying this for years and this project has had every single freakin’ roadblock possible thrown at it. But it’s almost done. And this series just might really kill me. But it will come out. Soon.

I’m also working on a few horror screenplays and comic mini series. I really want to get these right so I’m doing further extensive rewrites on these. I won’t mention them here, but for those who are REALLY interested in knowing, do a quick internet search on me… I’m sure you’ll discover those projects.

What got you into horror comics?

AT: I just like horror, period. Whatever form I can get it. I do horror comics because I like writing horror and there aren’t many horror comics out. There are so, SO many superhero comics. I’m not really a superhero fan. I can do it in small doses or for particular stories here and there, but it’s frustrating to me how the genres in comics are split. 95% superheroes and 5% everything else?! That’s CRAZY to me! Do you see things like that in other entertainment mediums? Movies? TV? Novels?

DD: What comics are you currently reading?

AT: I’ve kinda been slacking on the comics lately. I still love The Boys, Bomb Queen, and Hack/Slash.

DD: So in summary give me a quick recap on Approbation Comics and why fans should give your titles a try.

AT: Approbation Comics is where you turn when you want a break from superheroes! You don’t have to cut them from your reading diet, but is that ALL you want in your reading diet? I love pizza, but could you eat it every meal, every snack, every day of every week, month, year?! Variety is a beautiful thing.

But yeah, come on over… we have Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies! How can you not have fun with hot girls fighting the undead?! People have preconceived notions about the series that either makes them jump on the book or they run away. Those who run to it get what they expected, but stay because there is so much more to the book than insinuated. Those who run away but eventually come back to check it out are usually amazed that this isn’t the early 90’s mindless T&A crap… yeah, there’s T&A, but they end up staying because of humor, the storytelling, and our heroines aren’t mindless bimbos but young feminists in their own right.

DD: Thanks so much Alex. I hope people can jump on board and check out your books. I know I have been really impressed by what I have been able to check out so far.

AT: Thank you for having me, Dan! I appreciate the compliments and the help you’ve given to expose more people to Approbation Comics and Chaos Campus!

Friday, December 4, 2009

7 New Reviews Posted

Sorry everyone got way behind. Have posted 7 new reviews. Dead Future #1, Victorian Undead #1, Zombie Dave #1, Happy Panda Funtime Show #1, 28 Days Later #4, Asylum of Horror #2 and FVZA #1.