Saturday, 12 January 2013


So today I have a comic book review of sorts, but I will be talking about a few issues, the story arc if you will. I guess also to keep in mind, this blog will contain tons and tons of story spoilers, so please if you haven't read the story yet or were waiting for the graphic novel collection, then be warned now. Although come back and read this so you can see if you agree with me on any of these points. So this is the spoils warning and so you have been warned. Also Thai counts for both my blog post this weekend, cause I want to have a Marvel and DC comic book review. Lets get things started.

My first review will be for Batman: The Dark Knight by writer Greg Hurwitz and by artist David Finch, and the issues are from to.

So this one has Scarecrow as the main antagonist to Batman, and if you know me you'll know how much I love the fear king of Gotham. I find he's one the greatest characters ever created in the DC universe, but a character that has barely been taped as far as story potential, so you can see why I'd be excited to start reading a new Batman story with the Scarecrow, anything could happen. So essential the story gets going when Batman falls prey to Dr.Crane after hunting him down, looking for a kidnapped child that Scarecrow is using to complete a new and stronger fear toxin, using the fear of this child as the driving source behind it. I can see why that makes sense, kids by nature have a greater imagination, things are amplfyed more in their minds. So if you can use that sense of wonder and awe on horror and nightmares, it could crush the human mind for good, great Scott, so far so good. We then see Batman in a James Bond kind of scenario, you know the one, strapped down and ready to be killed, but instead being lectured by Scarecrow and having new fear toxins used on him. Let's make one thing clear here, Crane is insane, I don't think killing Batman would give him as much joy as seeing him live out his darkest dreams for the rest of his eternity, so I am not mad at the fact that he didn't just off the bat, by all means that should be a Joker thing...but knowing Joker he'd make meat dolls out Batmans flesh and play with it while he slowly kills him or something like that. So we go deep into Bruce's mind and see that deep down inside he's got an attraction to the dark, to all the crazies and the monster of society, he never wanted to be accepted by the light. All the while Batman is dealing with this new fear toxin, Scarecrow is trying to perfect his toxin using the kidnapped child, however you get see the past origin of Dr.Crane, the fact that his father was the creator of the fear toxin and he was the original subject, he was being used in the same experiment that he doing now. Through the course of the story, the little girl starts to see similarities between her and Scarecrow, apparently he has a speech impediment just like the little girl and she even makes him a little drawing as well,  so you get to see that maybe there's more to him than being a fear driven monster. A really interesting idea to throw in the mix, but it's one that unfortunately never sees any light. And by the time Scarecrow is bored and readensues y to off Batman, with a sick bone scythe by the way, the Batman regains his belt and escapes, a fight ensues, a very bloody good fight ensues. Batman ends with the blade in his shoulder and Scarecrow get the bat hook shot right through his mouth, yeah, its as painful as it sounds. So Batman still intoxicated with the fear toxin and bleeding from his shoulder and is picked up by Damien, while Scarecrow with a hook still through his mouth goes to the Penguin to order up a machine of sorts...a zeppelin. This where things start going south, real fast.

So I guess after getting hooked through the mouth, Scarecrow gets pissed off and decides to take it out on Gotham with a f*cking zeppelin. Now here's my beef with this scenario. Scarecrow is a creature of fear, something that lurks within the shadows, the idea that he crashes a holiday street festival with a zeppelin to infect everyone is a little, I don't know, not subtle. He's poisioned the water system, air vents, infected toys, but never something like this. It's a very direct way about going through things. But this is all just a lead to a terrible downward spiral in the last issue. It begins with Batman waking up to Gotham being infected by the Scarecrow's aerial attack, so injured and all he goes out to save the city, he realizes quick that he needs a cure and he needs a cure fast, oh man, this is where it gets wacky. He realizes that the cure is his blood cause he's been infected already and cured himself when gets back to the bat cave. So Batman needs to drain himself out on the city and cure everyone...with his blood. Sigh. So Batman is dying slow but manages to get back home. Of course the most ironic scene in the comic comes where Bruce and Damian are eating dinner after a near death situation with Batman's blood cure thing, Alfred being pissed at Bruce's inability to give a shit about almost killing himself, drops a cup of coffee on him, funny, cause I felt about doing the same thing to this issue by the end of things. So the cops and Batman go and track down Scarecrow at one of his hideouts. Let me play for you, this is all in one page. Batman walks in, Scarecrow looks at him, still bleeding from an attack that was days ago, falls down, end scene. What. The. F*ck! Just an issue ago these two were having an epic bloody battle and then this!? And why was he still bleeding from the bat hook, the guy is covered in stitches and he couldn't just sow himself up, really? That's it. No epic showdown, no nothing. I know the good guy is supposed to win all the time, I get that, but it's the conflict and the fight that makes things interesting. Oh and it gets better, as Scarecrow is being locked up in Arkham Asylum, he is plotting his escape and he reveals he's got a toxin hidden in his pants, of course as soon as he is thrown in his cell the toxin explodes and he ends up self intoxicated. But at this point in time, we all know he is immune to his own toxins! Oh 52!

I feel like this story had so much potential and it looked amazing as well, but I think due the time frame and the change of artist for the next arc, they may have rushed this one out a little too quickly. And that's the thing, you can't rush a good story. So to the next story, and regardless the character, don't rush it guys. But I suggest check this one out, cause David Finch's art alone makes the trip worth it, regardless on the lackluster run. I find the Dark Knight comic has a more adventure by adventure feel, where as the Batman title as great as it is as well, has a more continued one storyline going on, but by all means check out the court of owls and the current death of the family story going on as well. I am going to continue reading this series, but if there any good recommendations by all means let me know. My next review is coming soon, so stay tuned. Later slackers!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Not So Blank

Good evening slackers, so for today, I wanted to show a little something special here with all you, a special first preview if you will, exclusive stuff. So as many of you are aware, or not, first time readers are always welcomed as well, I draw a lot. It's my skill, my passion and what I want to do so I can tell stories and create stories. So a big thing for a lot of us artist in the comic world are the various different blank variant covers that being released to all of us. The first one I remember was a Secret Invasion blank cover, but it was mostly all black with a little white box that was the drawing space, needles to say they have come some distant from those days. With the new Marvel Now launches going on these past month we have had quite a large batch of different blank cover variants, and a lot more still to come. These are great, for us artist when we do launch parties we are able to draw unique covers for a lot of fans, which is a really fun practice for a lot of us at Spent Pencils. It also means for us art nuts, that we can take these home and do crazy creative things with all of these covers. We can do crazy crossover, redraw our favorite classic covers with our own twist, make characters darker or draw them like cute anime characters, the possibilities are endless.

So I've had the chance to pick up a few of these and just before the New Years I was able to finish up on my first blank cover, this one was for the very first Marvel Now comic series to be launched, for the mutant and super hero team, the Uncanny Avengers. A great idea to take both teams and put them together and it's great to see more light on Rogue, Scarlet Witch and Havok. Although I am not sold on going with Hovok's old design for his costume. But a great comic so far, if you have yet to pick it up then go to your local shop and pick it up, the first two should be out for sure. And with out any more delay, I present to you my cover for Uncanny Avengers...

So the scanner here at home isn't big enough so I had to scan both sides individually, but you get the general idea here. As soon as I saw the title, I had the idea to draw them all as the Undead Avengers and yes, Marvel has plenty of zombie stories already and various zombie covers, but I a vision and I wanted to draw it out. So I had the six members of the comic team up and front on both sides, on the front we got Wolverine, Rogue and Captain America. On the back we have Thor, Scarlet Witch and Havok. I then added plenty of different characters from both worlds, like Iron Fist and Cloak, and even Magneto and a Cyclops skull head. There's a lot going on here, so take a look and see all the neat little things I added to each side, including one hero who may or may not be dead.

So there you have it a first look at my blank variant cover, let me know what you think. Did you like it? Hate it? Love it? Leave a comment below or share with your friends and family. Also for everyone in the Toronto area be sure to follow Spent Pencils on Facebook and Twitter to find out when we will be at a comic shop near you so you can get some unique blank covers as well. That's all the time I have for today guys, keep on slacking slacker!

Saturday, 5 January 2013


Is there anything greater than a day off? I doubt it, it's one of life's little pleasure but you do need to work for it. And well, technically I was doing some work today in form of my art work. I started off the morning pretty late, but hey, I had a really late night so it evens itself out. I decided to sort my video game collection, trying to organize it, I managed to finish sorting my PlayStation 2 games, and that took some time. Although I look at this shelf unit and I realize I need to get one that lets me see all the games, that way it makes it easier to find. You never know when I'll get the craving to play some NHL 2k4 or some Person 3 FES. The crazy thing was though, sorting through my games I realized that there are still some games for the PS2 that I still need to get for my collection, off the top of my head a game I really felt like playing the other day was the first Kingdom Hearts. I had a lot of fun with that game and say what you will, but I really enjoyed it. That and I guess I still need the World Heroes Collection, although I doubt I'd play that much. I didn't get to sorting my GameCube, Xbox, Wii and Xbox 360 games, but that will be for another day. This also reminds me I need to get around to getting a PS3 and a HD tv, I mean it's about time I would say.

As I am writing this I am looking through some covers and remixes of different songs, and apparently a big thing is rock covers of pop songs. It's strange at first but like any catchy pop song, it eventually grows on you. I really enjoyed a cover to Bad Romance and Last Friday Night, but it's definitely not for everyone, it's very bizarre combination. But please suggest to me good remix channels if you got any or sites for that matter, I love all shapes and forms of music, so lay it out on me.

Also today I got to work on a few more sketch cards, but I will posting these on the Spent Pencils Facebook page and on the IDR blog, so be sure to follow those and check them out. But remember to leave me any request for a character and I will do my best to do it up. But Yeah, it's time to scan these up, so I will see over on the next page. Also I gotta work tomorrow early so I best get myself a little of sleep...well maybe a few hours.

Later Slackers! 

Friday, 4 January 2013

Hot and Tired as Hell

After a long three days of work, I finally have a day off tomorrow. It's long hours standing and working on the floor making sales, stocking products and all that, but as they say, a mans got to eat. But honestly there's nothing better than sitting at my desk, with my music and a bunch of materials and paper, just drawing the night away, creating and imagining the things that haven't been thought of before. I am really looking forward to working away on some sketch cards and I am also going to get started on a few blank covers as well, the hard part is deciding which covers to start on. But truth be told I will probably be starting on some Batman/Scarecrow covers. I honestly love the Scarecrow way too much, it's a little scary...get it? Okay, that was lame, I will admit that.

Anyways, I want to take the time to let everyone know that on the 26th this month, me and Spent Pencils crew will be drawing for the people at Gotham Central Comics for their one year anniversary! Come down and get some original art and prints from all of us at SP, I will have plenty of sketch cards and original drawings available for purchase and I will be doing blank covers as well for anyone looking for a unique original cover. Gotham Central Comics have been amazing to us and honestly it's one of the largest comics stores in Toronto, hell maybe in all of Canada. If you haven't been, now is the best time of any to come by and see the amazingly large selection of comics, graphic novels, toys, figurines and plenty more down at Gotham. Mark the date and make it your day, Saturday January 26th! You've been told!

Another short blog for tonight guys, going to be an early night for me most likely, really tired. But keep posted here and remember to spread the word slackers, tell everyone you know and all that good stuff. So that's me for today, til then I am signing off.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Riders Awaken!

Call it what you will, a long day at work, lack of food or vitamins, lack of sleep, or what I think it may be a deadly combination of all three. I am totally broken, my whole body is killing me, my legs feel like they walked miles and miles on end, and my spine is really sore. Now I think I understand Danny Glover just a little bit more in the Lethal Weapon movies. But I can't even say that I am still really young, okay, energy! Rise! Up and atom!

So today I wanted to let you all know that I am going to be posting up new and exciting art in a group art blog, The Indestructible Dream Riders! Here's the link...

This is a really great and neat idea and it will contain tons of different unique artworks from all of us at IDR. You'll also get insight to our takes on various comic book characters and our drawing process. So if you love art, comics and all that good stuff, bookmark us and follow our page and tell your friends and family too.

And remember here on Slackers Code, you will still get daily updates on just about anything I feel like talking about and a general idea on how I am doing and all that good stuff.

Also guys remember to leave me any request for sketch cards here in the comments section or on Facebook. Also be sure to tell your friends and if you haven't already as well to follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ChileanStorm thanks in advanced.

A quick update for tonight guys, I got a lot art to work on these nights, and honestly it's a blast when I am drawing. Signing off, til next time slackers!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Sketch Card It Up!

Greetings geeks and freaks from all corners of the internet, today is another late post, so as you can imagine I've had a very long day at the work place, sort of busy today with all the little kids being on holiday vacation from school. But that's not a big deal and it's not going to stop me from posting for you, and thank you in advanced to everyone who takes a small time from their day to read my little blogs, it's a joy writing them and will do my best to post one everyday, so tell your friends and family, spread the word on Slackers Code.

So today, we got ourselves a new little thing here that a few of my friends have started to do and that's sketch cards. What's a sketch card you ask? It's like getting a regular commission print or drawing but on a micro sized paper, but it makes it easier to collect and trade with friends. I have a few sites from fellow artist friends that are doing some cards as well, that I will be linking at the end here, two are my good friends and mentors in the art game, Maddsketch and Joe Osei Bonsu. I love these guys, super super talented, if I can be half the artist that they are, that would be more than enough. So if you've noticed that I've improved, it's all thanks to the teaching and guidance from these guys and all the amazing artist from Spent Pencils. Drink the pepsi, be the pepsi.  Anyways, it's great to see all the cool and different ideas that artist incorporate to these cards, and so today I will share a few of mine with you today.

Captain Marvel (Redesign):

So this was an idea given while the SP crew was hanging out, the idea was to redesign different characters of the Justice League. I decided to pick Captain Marvel, in part cause technically he is the kid of the group and at times, I feel like the kid in the group. The idea here was to make him looking more like a tough and rough punk, the bolt scarred right on his chest to make him look more intimidating towards enemies and thugs.

The Joker:

If you've been reading the current Batman comics, here's a face you won't soon forget. After the events in Detective Comics #1, the Joker is truly fucking wild now! I love this morbid and sick twisted idea on the Joker, it's perhaps the best move done by the new 52 DC universe!

Iron Patriot:

Hey kids, it's the Green Goblin! Sort of, or maybe just another face for Norman Osborn. The run on Dark Avengers was amazing, and this idea of the perfect hero shell holding the darkest mind of the Marvel universe was brilliant in my mind. Honestly I was hoping the Dark Reign would last longer.


The God of thunder himself! I've grown to love Thor and his crazy adventures in the nine realms, he really has grown on me over the past few weeks. And yes, I am working on a few more from the Thor universe, including a Loki as well...and a Hiddleston Loki for the girls. :P

So what do you think on the first batch of cards? If you got any request, by all means let me know and I will do it up, going to be posting more of these when I collect a few more and I will soon be posting on a art related blog with Madd Sketch, so be sure to follow me there as well.

That's all the time I have for today guys, but be sure to check out the links below and the artists work. I am out, til next time slackers!

Joe's Site:
Maddsketch's Site: