Saturday, October 23, 2010


Aside from my tireless efforts to promote DIONYSUS WEPT, I managed to pursue other interests at NYCC. Mostly these involved the two volume set of my bound SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY issues. SEVEN SOLDIERS is a comic book metaseries written by Grant Morrison and published by DC Comics. It was published as seven interrelated mini-series and two bookend issues. The series features a new version of the Seven Soldiers of Victory fighting to save Earth from the Sheeda. Besides the masterful storytelling of Grant Morrison, the story showcased nine insanely talented artists. The book's pages are saturated with Morrison's coarse words filling up word balloons that sit atop beautifully rendered images of brief sexual content and horrific violence. WHAT MORE COULD ONE ASK FOR?
At NYCC I had the privlege of meeting SEVEN SOLDIERS artists Cameron Stewart(Manhattan Guardian), Yanick Paquette(Bulleteer), and Freddie Williams II(Mister Miracle). All three provided sketches of their characters from the book to go along with the Vigilante sketch previously provided by JH Williams III. They were gracious and engaging. It was a great thrill to hear these gifted men talk about their experience on the project that I hold so dear to my heart. Thanks again gentlemen!
Sadly my ultimate tribute to sequential art will have to remain incomplete...for now. With any luck, I'll have the chance to meet up with Ryan Sook, Doug Mahnke, Pascal Ferry, Frazer Irving and Simone Bianchi.
Freddie Williams II
Never has Grant Morriosn's talent been spotlighted more than in this story. He is able to take obscure characters from various corners of the DC Comics universe and craft a compelling tale that has developed an ardent following. Morrison Rules!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


The creative minds behind DIONYSUS WEPT will be attending the final day of New York Comic Con. Get up to the minute details from the con floor by following me on Twitter. Or just check back here for all the groovy news.

Friday, October 1, 2010


The murder-tastic graphic novel, DIONYSUS WEPT keeps chugging along. I've been getting images back from, master-illustrator Marc Borstel and I just can't keep them to myself! As you can see Marc is KILLING! Here we see some of the main players in this "urban tragedy of immense social significance." Look for this mind-assaulting comic from ARCANA STUDIOS early next year.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Woot! I just received my first shipment of OUTER SPACE MEN compatible figures. Working in concert with the Glyos joint system from Onell Design, these Callgrim figures offer even greater alternatives to expand your army of action figures.
Lately, I've been attempting to expand my 5yr olds brain capacity, while at the same time playing with toys. These Glyos compatible figures give us that perfect opportunity.
Please note: Callgrim took about three weeks to ship my order, so...don't order if you are in to the instant gratification thang. But it was worth the wait! Viva la Glyos Compatible toys!

Monday, August 9, 2010


Looking back, it was destined to happen. Nothing was going stop THE OUTER SPACE MEN from making their galactic return to the TOY-VERSE. It Couldn't have been a coincidence that I, Eric HAYES, wrote the epic Graphic Novel of OUTER SPACE MEN epicness that was the highlight of New York Comic Con '09. Or that MASTER toy-design, Eric "Cornby" MAYSE (also attending NYCC '09) had an interest in reviving the imaginative toyline from the '60's. Ironically, a face-to-face meeting never took place there. Probably for the best, as my beautiful girlfriend Michelle was alone in our booth as the rest of us were speaking on a panel. Michelle's importance cannot be minimized as a bad first impression could have killed this mission at it's inception.MICHELLEATNYCC
Ultimately, I was able to set up a dialogue between THE OSM creator Mel Birnkrant, and Cornboy's FOUR HORSEMEN DESIGN STUDIO. Something for which I am always quick to pat myself on the back for. Everything culminated with the unexpected package I received from THE FOUR yesterday. My very own Alpha Phase wave 1! This wave of figures are the ultra-limited series which was all the rage at SDCC '10. My 4yr old and I had a blast interchanging their expertly sculpted parts. As I write this, I'm expecting a delivery of CALLGRIM figures that also feature ONELL DESIGN'S GLYOS joint system.
Socially shunned by my unforgiving peers, I spent my childhood engrossed in autonomous play, mainly 3 3/4 STAR WARS and GI JOE action figures. Due to their size and articulation, these OSM figures are right at home in my STAR WARS vehicles. But due to their playability, I'm afraid to put METAMORPHO into my precious DEWBACK for fear I might lose his legs.
Thanks go to THE FOUR HORSEMEN for this amazing gesture with their limited supply of OSM exclusives. Stay tuned for more talk of destiny...and pics of my toys.

Monday, July 26, 2010


For anyone that might be interested, I'm posting my original story pitch for DIONYSUS WEPT. Ultimately, Sean O'Reilly at ARCANA STUDIOS saw something he liked. Judge for yourself.

Nietzsche’s Overman exists, but are we ready for him?

Submission Proposal

DIONYSUS WEPT is the hard-boiled bastard child of MARATHON MAN meets THE FRENCH CONNECTION meets FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS. Presented in a crime/noir comic style and steeped in mythologically inspired violence, DIONYSUS WEPT focuses on a family of apparent immortals. These seemingly ageless doctors, soldiers, artists and philosophers whose unorthodox lifestyle (consisting of a life-extending diet and drug regimen) and unconventional philosophy (marked by a Nietzschean code of ethics and universe expanding hallucinogens) have forced them to embrace anonymity...until now.

A chance meeting between Dr Robert Staver, and world-renowned Nazi Hunter, Simon Friedman ends in brutal murder. The subsequent NYPD investigation reveals: 1) An unseen ancient order, sworn to protect The Twelve Tribes of Israel by any means necessary. 2) An insidious group of neo-Nazi Hitler worshipers with a deadly policy against those they perceive to be race traitors. 3) An extended family of apparent immortals whose mysterious past has come back to haunt them. 4) A pharmaceutical representative obsessed with profiting from a miracle cure. 5) And the African-American NYPD Detective struggling to uncover secrets that noone wants revealed.

The story’s main character, Dr Robert Staver, runs a small clinic in the economically desperate neighborhood of Manhattan’s Spanish Harlem. Dr Staver is beloved in the community for his tireless effort to provide affordable medical care to its residents. Although a celebrity in the neighborhood, the doctor rejects publicity that might draw unwanted attention to the clinic or himself. And with good reason, for Dr Robert Staver was born Hubertus Strunghold in 1915 near Leipzig, Germany. Dr Strunghold and his unusual family were uprooted as part of a collaborative covert US military operation to smuggle members of Hitler’s elite doctors and scientists into America prior to World War II. Strunghuld’s life-changing decision to betray the Third Reich was made easy upon the Doctor’s horrific discovery of Hitler’s Final Solution. But a decision with consequences, as leaving Hitler’s Master Race Research Team, cost the doctor his identity (not to mention a finger from his right hand.) Dr Staver’s safety and secret identity are permanently jeopardized when Simon Friedman recognizes the four-fingered man outside his clinic.

While maintaining his persona as an internationally known Nazi hunter, Friedman was also a high-ranking member of a clandestine group of assassins dubbed THE CHILDREN OF ESAU. His vicious murder triggers an unrelenting quest for retribution by the members of this unforgiving militant group. The NYPD homicide investigation alerts the hierarchy of Stormwatch, a corporate structured organization of psychotic Hitler acolytes with influence among the city’s police and government. Stormwatch views both Hubertus Strunghold and his family as the ultimate traitors to the white race and therefore subject to the ultimate penalty...death. It’s up to newly promoted Detective Jean-Luc Pedanou to stay alive long enough to uncover the nefarious actions that have set this mystery in motion.

This story was originally conceived as an 8-issue story arc and will appeal to both crime/noir and sci-fi readers. And it has Nazis!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


It is with great excitement that I can officially announce the signing of my latest comic, DIONYSUS WEPT, to ARCANA STUDIOS. Slated as a two volume graphic novel series, with the first to be completed later this year, DIONYSUS WEPT seeks to expand the reader's internal universe with Nazi-era eugenics experimentation, murder and psychedelic mind travel. Upon reviewing my original story pitch it was clear that Arcana Studios was the only publisher capable of such a groundbreaking endeavor.
From Arcana Studios website:

Arcana began in 2004 as a studio. Since then Arcana has established itself as an innovative leader in developing content in various mediums. Working in websites, comics and graphic novels, video games, short-form animation and live action shorts, toys and merchandise, as well as feature length films, Arcana focusses on a transmedia approach to the the scaffolding process of developing brands and intellectual properties.
Arcana's primary method for establishing new brands has been through comic book publishing and in just over four years, Arcana Comics has published over 150 original comics and books, reaching sales of over 1,000,000 units. Arcana is found on 15 different countries and translated into seven languages across the globe. Winning the Shuster Award for Top Publisher, the Moonbeam Award for Top Children's Graphic Novel and BIV's Top 40 Under 40 Award are just a few of the accolades that Arcana has achieved.

And of course, DIONYSUS WEPT will feature the amazing draftsmanship of 2010 RUSS MANNING AWARD Nominated artist, Marc Borstel.
Page 6 letter
I'm overcome with joy to see that Marc's talents are being recognized by the industry that he loves so dearly. And it is with great anticipation that I await Marc's pages on this book, as he work has matured significantly since our time together on THE OUTER SPACE MEN Graphic Novel.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010



My comprehensive trip through DC COMICS uber-event, CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS has taken me to Gotham. In a stroke of editorial genius, DC decided to credit the character of Jason Todd as the writer of the issue. Most likely because he has a running commentary throughout in the form of a journal entry. Or simply because Doug Moench, the actual writer, was embarrassed about his effort here. Doubtful, because this bad-ass issue rocked the house! It seems that two of Central City's biggest rogues, Mirror Master and Captain Boomerang, have set their sites on Batman's home turf as well as a priceless jade necklace being exhibited at the Gotham Museum. The Dynamic Duo skillfully employ the help of the surly GCPD Detective Harvey Bullock to thwart the baddies and save the necklace. This book features the legendary artwork of Master Illustrator Gene Colan as well as an enjoyable Green Arrow back-up story.

Apparently, the epic cosmic battle of matter vs anti-matter has the atmospheric affect of turning Earth's skies red. Even the night sky is red. Bullock is moved to compare the sky'e unusual color to the rubies from the film GUNGA DIN. Interesting, as Bullock himself admits, "even though it was filmed in black an' white."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010



We remain on Earth 2 for my detailed analysis of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. In this issue the ALL STAR SQUADRON goes up against one of my all-time favorite comic villains...Mr. Mind! He was originally a FAWCETT COMICS character and was created by Otto Binder and C. C. Beck in 1943. As you might expect Mr. Mind gained notoriety going up against FAWCETT hero Captain Marvel. But here, he's got his sights set on Earth 2's ALL STARS. This issue of ALL STAR SQUADRON is WHY I READ COMICS! Mr. Mind has built a MINDTRIPPER machine and travels the universe like an obseesed TWILIGHT fan in an effort to meet his favorite Earthling radio star, Charlie McCarthy. Poor Mr. Mind soon discovers the awful truth, mainly that Charlie McCarthy is actually a wooden dummy controlled by, the other guy from the show, Edgar Bergen. The pain felt upon this discovery is too much for Mr. Mind to bear. He devises a plan to assemble a MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL and destroy his second favorite Earth celebrities...THE ALL STAR SQUADRON. The issue ends during a classic ALL STARS vs MONSTER SOCIETY puch-up.

During Mr. Mind's epic journey from his homeworld to Earth, he witnesses the inter-dimensional flight of Harbinger and Firebrand continued from the previous issue. Mr. Mind even remarks how "impressive" these females appear. Impressive for mammals...of couse. It is Harbinger's energy trail that ultimately leads Mr. Mind to Earth. But it is the last page that is most CRISIS-tastic! We see a trio of ALL STARS find themselves lost after trying to follow Firebrand through a dimensional barrier. Liberty Belle, Johnny Quick and Green Lantern are suddenly greeted by a surly Captain Marvel. But stay tuned, I have a feeling we'll find out why Shazam is acting so "emotional" soon.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


It is with great excitement that I learned my friend and collaborator on DIONYSUS WEPT, Marc Borstel, has been nominated for a prestigious MANNING AWARD. THE RUSS MANNING AWARD is an award presented to a comic book artist whose first professional work appeared within the previous two years. It was named after the famous American comic book artist Russ Manning. The winner is chosen from a list of nominees picked by judges from the West Coast Comics Club and Comic-Con International, and is given at the Eisner Award ceremony. Marc was nominated based on the stunning work he did for THE MISADVENTURES OF CLARK AND JEFFERSON published by APE ENTERTAINMENT. Art Adams, one of my artistic idols, won the MANNING way back in '86. For Marc to be included with a name like that must be incredibly flattering.

I'm truly fortunate to have met Marc in person during NYCC '09. And we have plans to put NYCC '10 in a headlock and punch it in the teeth this October. Marc's work on DIONYSUS WEPT is STUNNING! The feedback I've been getting from publishers is overwhelming. Stay tuned in the coming days for an exciting announcement regarding the publication of DIONYSUS WEPT. Hopefully, I will be able to include the quote "Illustrated by MANNING AWARD WINNER Marc Borstel" on the front cover. Good Luck Marc!

Monday, May 31, 2010



As you might expect, the heroes of EARTH 2 are busy fighting the evil Axis Powers. But I learned from this issue that the ALL STAR SQUADRON(including Shining Knight, Amazing-Man, Tarantula, Firebrand and others) had a splinter group called the ALL STAR BATTALION(including Hawkman, Sandman, Spectre, Dr Mid Nite and others,) and they're all in for an inter-dimensional surprise! The story starts out with an improbable kidnapping of the mighty ALL STAR BATTALION by a crew of Nazi thugs. It also seems as though The Monitor is still dealing in black market weapons, because the Nazis now have the technology to rocket these superheroes out of their dimension.
While this is happening, Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters appear on Earth 2 before Plastic Man and Phantom Lady. Inexplicably, they quickly convince Plas and Phantom Lady to accompany them to fight THEIR Nazis on Earth X.

The most important events revolve around Harbinger's recruitment of Firebrand into the fight to save the multi-verse. Harbinger starts showing off by stopping time, changing Danette into Firebrand, flying through the walls. But ultimately gets punked when some of The Monitor's technology is activated by the Nazis and halts their exit by creating a time barrier. Luckily, Harbinger is able to knuckle-up and plow through the barrier with Firebrand. The resulting feedback kills the Nazi scientist tinkering around with Monitor-Tech. So what's Firebrand got that the other All Stars don't? We'll find out in the main title.

Probably the racist jerk that doesn't have the gosh darned common courtesy to insult Amazing-Man out of earshot.
amazing man

Friday, May 28, 2010


WRITER - Marv Wolfman
PENCILER - Curt Swan
My analysis of DC's CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS begins with DC COMICS PRESENTS #78. Written by Marv Wolfman and pencils by Curt Swan. With a run of 97 issues between 1978-1986, DC COMICS PRESENTS was a Superman team-up book pairing the "Man of Steel" with a variety of heroes from the DC Universe. The book begins with a punch-up between the faceless giant Chun Yull and Superman's band of heroes. Chun Yull's hails from Saturn's atom-sized world of Klaramar and he's pissed! Along with his group of "Forgotten Villains," they're fixing to rule ALL time and space with their brand of unpleasant sorcery. Luckily, the heroes(including Animal Man, Congorilla, Immortal Man and others) and villains(including The Atom-Master and Ultivac) are able to break the Triad's ring of evil magic and restore balance to both space and time.

The final page features a cryptic conversation between Lyla and The Monitor(who is almost completely obscured by a hefty Captains chair.) Looks like they've been "monitoring" the events of this issue. The are also discussing the sham of the council they've been providing for Earth's villains. Hmmm... Seems as though The Monitor began appearing, along with his assistant Lyla, in numerous DC Comics titles beginning in 1982, three years before the Crisis began in July 1985; these appearances made it seem that he was some sort of weapons dealer for supervillains. This was all part of the setup Wolfman and the staff of DC Comics planned for the Crisis, showing the Monitor currying favor with villains such as Maxie Zeus, prior to calling on the heroes. The Monitor was depicted in the shadows for all of his appearances in DC's mainstream superhero titles, and his face was first revealed in one of their few remaining non-superhero titles, the war comic G.I. Combat issue #274.

Easily Congorilla. He may well be a legendary explorer and adventurer, but Congo Bill don't know sh!@ about football. Check him out here making a righteous tackle on Chun Yull. Only to proclaim himself a natural quaterback? C'mon Congo Bill!

Friday, May 14, 2010


As I spend my days awaiting the fate of my comic project, DIONYSUS WEPT. I have decided to delve into the epic DC COMICS universe-shattering tale CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. Internet source for all things factual, WIKIPEDIA, describes CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS as:

"a 12-issue American comic book limited series (identified as a "12-part maxi-series") and crossover event, produced by DC Comics in 1985 to simplify its then-50-year-old continuity. The series was written by Marv Wolfman, and illustrated by George PĂ©rez (pencils/layouts), with Mike DeCarlo, Dick Giordano, and Jerry Ordway (who shared inking/embellishing chores). The series removed the concept of the Multiverse in the fictional DC Universe, and depicted the deaths of such long-standing superheroes as Supergirl and the Barry Allen incarnation of the Flash."

But if you know anything about me, and you probably don't, a 12-issue maxi-series just isn't gonna cut it. This uber-comic-event at DC COMICS was truly innovative and comprehensive, including almost all of DC's titles and characters. My research led me to what appears to be a definitive CRISIS reading order posted on comic news site COMIC BOOK RESOURCES. Here is the list:

001 DC Comics Presents 78
002 All-Star Squadron 050
003 Crisis on Infinite Earths 01
004 Detective Comics #555
005 Detective Comics #556
006 Detective Comics 557
007 All-Star Squadron 051
008 All-Star Squadron 052
009 All-Star Squadron 053
010 Swamp Thing v2 #039
011 Firestorm - Fury of Firestorm #041
012 Infinity, Inc 18
013 Atari Force 018 [1984]
014 New Teen Titans 013
015 Green Lantern v2 194
016 Detective Comics 558
017 Crisis on Infinite Earths 02
018 Batman 389
019 Batman 390
020 Swamp Thing v2 #040
021 Crisis on Infinite Earths 03
022 Batman 391
023 Swamp Thing v2 #041
024 Green Lantern V2 195
025 Saga of the Swamp Thing #42
026 Crisis on Infinite Earths 04
027 Swamp Thing v2 #043
028 Warlord 097
029 Vigilante 22
030 DC Comics Presents 086 [ Superman & Supergirl ]
031 Omega Men 26
032 DC Comics Presents 087 [ Superman & Superboy of Earth Prime ]
033 DC Comics Presents 088 Creeper
034 Saga of the Swamp Thing #44
035 Wonder Woman v1 327
036 Wonder Woman v1 328
037 DC Comics Presents 094 [ Superman & Harbinger & Lady Quark & Pariah ]
038 Infinity, Inc 19
039 Justice League of America v1 #244
040 Infinity, Inc 20
041 Infinity, Inc Annual 1
042 Legends of DC Universe 80-Page Giant #1
043 Crisis on Infinite Earths 05
044 Saga of the Swamp Thing #45
045 Infinity, Inc 21
046 Swamp Thing v2 - 046
047 Infinity, Inc 22
048 All-Star Squadron 054
049 All-Star Squadron 055
050 All-Star Squadron 056
051 Superman v1 413
052 Crisis on Infinite Earths 06
053 Infinity, Inc 23
054 Infinity, Inc 24
055 Legion of Super-Heroes v3 013
056 Legion of Super-Heroes v3 014
057 Legion of Super-Hereos v3 015
058 Legion of Super-Heroes v3 Annual 01
059 Crisis on Infinite Earths 07
060 DC Comics Presents 095 Hawkman
061 Legion of Super-Hereos v3 016
062 Legion of Super-Hereos v3 017
063 Legion of Super-Hereos v3 018
064 Wonder Woman v1 329(Troia - HQ Scans)
065 Crisis on Infinite Earths 08
066 JLA - Incarnations #05
067 Deadman - Dead Again 01
068 Flash v2 #149
069 Flash v2 #150
070 Superman v1 414
071 Blue Devil 017
072 Omega Men #31 - Crisis Issue
073 Omega Men 32
074 Omega Men #33
075 New Teen Titans 014
076 Crisis on Infinite Earths 09
077 Green Lantern v2 196
078 Justice League of America v1 Annual 3
079 Blue Devil 018
080 Blue Devil 019
081 Firestorm - Fury of Firestorm #042
082 Superman v1 415
083 Crisis on Infinite Earths 10
084 Justice League of America v1 #245
085 Crisis on Infinite Earths 11
086 Green Lantern #197
087 Amethyst - Princess of Gemworld v2 #13
088 Crisis on Infinite Earths 12
089 All-Star Squadron 57 - Kaleidoscope
090 All-Star Squadron 058
091 All-Star Squadron 059
092 Legend of Wonder Woman (1986) #01 (of 4)
093 Legend of Wonder Woman (1986) #02 (of 4)
094 Legend of Wonder Woman (1986) #03 (of 4)
095 Legend of Wonder Woman (1986) #04 (of 4)
096 Oz Wonderland War #3
097 Green Lantern v2 198
098 Infinity, Inc 25
099 The Losers Special #1
100 All-Star Squadron 060
101 DC Comics Presents 096 [ Superman & Blue Devil ]
102 Animal Man #10
103 Animal Man #18
104 Animal Man #22
105 Animal Man #23
106 Animal Man #24

Thankfully, the illusion of collectibility of these comics is gone. They were produced in such large quantities and preserved so lovingly by their owners, that they haven't gone up considerably in value. I purchased the entire 12-issue series in an ebay auction for less than $20 with...shipping included! While they've gone up from their original $.75 cover price, they are still considerably cheaper than their contemporary counterparts. More often than not, I will be using as my primary marketplace for the issues from the above list. They offer reasonable prices with a reputation for accurate quality-grading of their product. Check out the SECRET IDENTITY PODCAST, as they have been my inspiration and will be covering CRISIS as their annual Summer Reading Project.

As always, this blog will serve as my tether to reality as I immerse myself in this infinite realm of vibrating universes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Is the murder, mutilation, torture and drug use contained within DIONYSUS WEPT suitable for kids? Renowned American author Gerard Jones would say...YES! I came across an article that Mr. Jones penned on MOTHER JONES titled VIOLENT MEDIA IS GOOD FOR KIDS where he claims that media violence can be beneficial. Jones details his release from a sheltered childhood thanks to the famed Marvel Comics character HULK. Jones goes on to site research:

"Fear, greed, power-hunger, rage: these are aspects of our selves that we try not to experience in our lives but often want, even need, to experience vicariously through stories of others," writes Melanie Moore, Ph.D., a psychologist who works with urban teens. "Children need violent entertainment in order to explore the inescapable feelings that they've been taught to deny, and to reintegrate those feelings into a more whole, more complex, more resilient selfhood."

As a parent, this is comforting. Especially watching my son draw pictures of people getting mowed down by subway trains. Or surfers getting eaten by sharks. All day I've been patting myself on the back for exposing my impressionable son to the beneficial effects of media violence. Yay Dad! My violent stories destined for the pages of DIONYSUS WEPT are doing the youth a great service! So far, the response to my project proposal has been flattering. Stay tuned for the destination of DIONYSUS WEPT.

Below is a video where Gerard Jones discusses the impact of video game violence on children.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


With the completion of the cover art and final tweaks on the interior pages, DIONYSUS WEPT is poised to make its debut. All that remains are some logistical issues that need to be ironed out. But what better time than now? And what better place than C2E2? According to their site, C2E2 – short for the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo – is a convention spanning the latest and greatest from the worlds of comics, movies, television, toys, anime, manga and video games. From a show floor packed with hundreds of exhibitors, to panels and autograph sessions giving fans a chance to interact with their favorite creators, to screening rooms featuring sneak peeks at films and television shows months before they hit either the big or small screen, C2E2 brings the best of popular culture to downtown Chicago! Sounds like as good a place as any to pitch this gut-checking journey into sequentialism. I'll be talking up DIONYSUS WEPT to all the major publishers in comics. And I won't be coming home until a satisfactory deal is struck. Viva la Comics!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Fresh of the easel of master illustrator John Van Fleet comes the cover to DIONYSUS WEPT. In this single image, John has expertly captured the book's dark mood and rich history. Like any super-talented artist, Van Fleet has exceeded what has been asked of him on this project. The portrait is positively haunting! This fella doesn't appear too happy...does he? All that's left is to design the title logo. And then I'll be presenting it to discerning publishers eager to make their mark on storytelling through the magic of sequential art. I'm hoping that John will be doing covers for the entire series that I've envisioned. Let me know what y'all think!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


It is with great excitement that I announce veteran comic book artist John Van Fleet has signed on to provide the cover image for DIONYSUS WEPT! While the interior illustrations of this ground-breaking comic are in the gifted hands of Marc Borstel, Van Fleet will bring his "urban grit" to the cover. Avid comic readers will recognize Van Fleet's mysterious style instantly. That's because he's worked on some of DC COMICS most popular titles, including BATMAN! I met John at WIZARD WORLD/BIG APPLE CON in October '09. He and his partners were there promoting their studio and their innovative techniques for 3D modeling and video game design. But it's his unique painting style that caught my eye.

From a Q&A with Comic Book Resources:
Some describe Van Fleet's artwork as moody and mysterious, but the artist doesn't see it quite that way.

"I don't see my stuff as being that dark," said Van Fleet. "I mean I use a lot of black but I use it as a color and as a design tool, so I see it differently I guess. I have been told a lot of things about my art, some I see, some I don't. The most common is it's dark and moody, I like a good urban grit is all."

Fleet trained as an artist alongside an impressive list of others. "I went to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. We had a great class. George Pratt, Kent Williams, Mark Chiarello, Scott Hanna, just to name a few. [We] were all in the same group and we are all working in Comics."

For the rest of this interview head over to CBR

As a long-time BATMAN collector, it's an honor for me to be working with the man who illustrated one of my favorite all-time issues. BATMAN #663 is remembered by most as a comic/novella written by, master-author, Grant Morrison. Titled THE CLOWN AT MIDNIGHT, this spooky tale chronicles the Joker's bloody escape from Arkham Asylum. The 3D modeled illustrations from Van Fleet that accompanied the prose created a creepy tone worthy of BATMAN'S most dangerous adversary. Here's one of John's haunting images from the book.


Born and raised in the small town of Stanhope, New Jersey, John credits his childhood freedom in the 1960's as the source of his creativity. Now living in North Carolina, John feels blessed to have the company of his wife, kids, dog, friends and family. I hope to have Van Fleet's completed cover available for viewing, along with Marc's completed interiors, at the MoCCA Art Festival the weekend of April 10-11. See y'all there.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Argentina born artist Marc Borstel has spent the last 20 years working in the comic book industry. But he's always looking for new ways to tell killer stories through his art. I had the pleasure of meeting Marc last year at NEW YORK COMIC CON '09 for the launch of our collaborative effort on THE OUTER SPACE MEN Graphic Novel. Marc was kind enough to shed some more light on the creative process involved in DIONYSUS WEPT.

Eric C Hayes: So Marc, give me an idea about the steps in the creative process.
Marc Borstel: I start sketching the page (On the computer, using Photoshop, with a Wacom Intuos 3 Tablet) on a virtual blueline white artboard, after the storyboard is done, I do all the panel borders, and I make a cheap copy I use as reference, then, I skip programs, enter the 3D modeling. I use Poser 7 for the characters and Lightwave 3D for the objects. when I do all the renderings, I come back to photoshop where I build every panel using 3D renderings, my own thumbnails and photo references (if needed), when I mesh all the objects in the panel, I add some photoshop filters to melt the artwork.
Eric C Hayes: The story starts out with some character development before business starts to pick up. Tell me how you can change the story's mood through your artwork.
Marc Borstel: Here's when the things get interesting: At this point, I start toying with the images, retouching, getting dirty, erasing, doing whacky things with all the tools I have at hand. this is the reason for getting something new (and fresh, I hope) in every page, because every panel has a different finishing process. If you like the artistic evolution in every page, but to me, this fact is great, because the story starts in a very specific way, moody, dark, and elegant, and after the page 5, it comes darker, chaotic, sick, very dramatic and moodier. I'm very proud of it.
Eric C Hayes: You're also doing the lettering on this project. Can you give me some information on your lettering decisions?
Marc Borstel: I'm trying to always keep the same color scheme for the lettering, I tried to make it controlled, because in such chaotic artwork, you need to be grounded with all the captions, to make the message clear for the reader, the only part where I made the lettering different was in the last panel, trying to increase the transformation on the main character.
Thanks Marc. If you're interested in Marc's art and the comic, make sure to follow this blog for the latest news on the progress of DIONYSUS WEPT.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Here's your opportunity to take a "behind the scenes peak" at the creative process behind DIONYSUS WEPT (the revolutionary exploration into the internal universe told through sequential art.) This collaborative effort between the muddled mind of Eric C Hayes and the supreme pen of Marc Borstel is in the final stages of preparation for submission to the world of comic book publishing.

But it all starts with the script. The completed script is merely a collection of my disjointed thoughts jotted down in notebooks, book margins and on burrito receipts. Hopefully this witch's brew of musings ends with a cogent story. This blog post will focus on the artistic maturation of PAGE 6 from DIONYSUS WEPT.
Script page 6
This information is transported through a system of tubes, called the interweb, to Mar Del Plata, Argentina. By way of "electronic" mail, it is read by master draftsman, Marc Borstel. And even though English is Marc's second language, he nails the script every time. Often sending me back art that is head and shoulders better than I could have imagined myself. Using a Wacom tablet, Marc starts with a blue-line "pencil" sketch.
Page 6 pencil
After viewing Marc's sketches, I typically have to, first put my socks back on. Then I green-light the coloring phase. For some time, I've been taking notice of the coloring styles specific to non-superhero comics. I've really been digging the look of today's noir comics. This has been quite a departure from Marc's preferred style, But after some experimenting, it's clear he's created an atmosphere that is both evocative of a crime/noir story while presenting a completely original work of art.
Page 6 color
Lastly, comes the lettering. The only problems in this area arise from my misspellings in the script.
Page 6 letter
Hopefully, the end result is an entertaining story that doesn't bum too many people out. Everyone should now take a moment and thank Al Gore for creating the World Wide Web. Without him, and it, this process could last decades of frustrating delays. Make sure to follow this blog for further insight into the craft of making comics. And get yourself prepared for DIONYSUS WEPT, the nexus of Greek Mythology meets Nietzchean Philosophy meets Psychotropic Spelunking. See more of Marc's work at his DeviantArt page.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Is it any wonder that of all the Gods from ancient mythology, Dionysus is one that I've found to be most intriguing. The Greek God of wine was also the inspirer of ritual madness and ecstasy. That's pretty boss! He was so super-mint that the Romans adopted him but they went and called him Bacchus so as not to infringe on the Greeks. He was also known as the Liberator, freeing one from one's normal self, by madness, ecstasy or wine.

The great thing about mythology, is that is teaches us how random things came to be in existence. For example, Amethyst. As the tale goes, a pissed off Dionysus swore revenge on the next mortal that crossed his path, creating fierce tigers to carry out his wish. Along came unsuspecting Amethyst, a beautiful young maiden on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana. The terrified girl asked to be spared the pain of the brutal claws so Diana turned her into a statue of pure crystalline quartz. At the sight, Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse. The god's tears stained the Quartz purple, creating the gemstone we know today. AWESOME!

While you absorb that, check out Page 2 of my comic book project DIONYSUS WEPT. Keep reading to see how this has inspired my literary creation of mythological proportions!


Sunday, February 28, 2010


This past Saturday, I was able to sneak away from my coughing, sneezing and wheezing son to take in the sights at Mike Carbo's NEW YORK COMIC BOOK MARKETPLACE. In the old days...the all or nothin days, this would have gone by THE BIG APPLE CON or THE NATIONAL. The strategic signifigance of this mission was to revisit the conception of my interest in comics.

Unlike my son, I cannot boast that I was reading comics at the age of three. My introduction to comics was at a spinner-rack in the local PathMark Supermarket on Long Island at the age of 14. The previous year I was mesmerized by Oliver Stone's Academy Award Winning PLATOON with my Dad. The CBS war series TOUR OF DUTY was just about to kick off. And I had a fever that only more Vietnam related entertainment could cure. That's when I paid $.75 for a beat up issue of THE 'NAM #10 by Marvel Comics. The unspeakable beating sustained by defenseless comics in those unforgiving spinner-racks is akin to waterboarding! The battle scars are evident in the scan of my copy seen above. Notice the Scotch tape in the upper right-hand corner. No doubt dropping it from a Near Mint quality grade.

The story is set in late October, 1966. Just before NATIONAL DAY, one of Vietnam's major holidays. We see soldiers dealing with the loss of fallen comrades. Racial tension among the troops. And the economics of life as a stranger in a strange land. The issue has plenty of ads that set the tone for the time. MILE HIGH COMICS has a two-page ad promoting their sale on Marvel back-issues. Guess I should have picked up that Incredible Hulk #181 for $10. Especially when you consider that HIGH GRADE COMICS is selling one currently for $2000.

Among other things, I brought this issue to the show to have comic legend (and THE 'NAM penciler) Michael Golden sign it. While I've heard stories that Mr. Golden can be cranky, I found him to be refreshingly pleasant. You can see his signature in the top left-hand corner of the photo. So, thanks Mr. Golden. You had the opportunity to prison rape a positive childhood memory regarding my introduction to comic bookery. But you were cool. I'm a little bummed however, as I sas unaware at the show that GI JOE writer, Larry Hama, was an editor on this book. Bummed because Mr. Hama was also in attendance at this show and could have co-signed this treasured work.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dominant Submission

Until I decipher the complexities of Web Design, this will be the place to stay current on my new adventures in sequentiality. Following the critical success of THE OUTER SPACE MEN, DIONYSUS WEPT will blow the roof off of comic bookery as we know it. Page 1 of this courageous effort is posted here! I'm proud to announce that once again I've teamed up with ultra-talented comic artist MARC BORSTEL. Previously the colorist on THE OUTER SPACE MEN Graphic Novel, Marc is poised to make his lasting "mark" on the comic industry. It is with great anticipation that I await completed pages from Marc as I prepare my official submission proposal to comic book publishers. Picture a "hard-boiled" version of MARATHON MAN meets THE FRENCH CONNECTION meets BOYS FROM BRAZIL meets FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS....but with word balloons. Besides the benefit of Marc's limitless talents, I'm currently working out the details with one of the industry's finest cover artists. As soon as I lock him up, I'll post a blog about it.

Until next time, enjoy this video of a news story about artist Marc Borstel, broadcast in his home country of Argentina. The piece centers around our collaborative effort on TESSYLEIA 2.0 for ZUDA online comics. Or just read this Q&A I did with NEWSARAMA.

blog counter

blog counter