Friday, December 22, 2006


Hey, Kids!

Been awhile, I know; the fates have decreed that I should have the worst season ever, and so...

Couple notes here: I have a MYSPACE account, look me up. I also have an account with COMICSPACE. If you ain't seen it, do so, quickly!

Hope all is well with y'all and y'allses. The Christmas holiday has always been a downer for me, not the least reason being that my Dad passed away right around this time...

I am grateful for my wife, for not only putting up with me, but also supporting just about everything I do, even when it's not in my best interests, and letting me learn from my mistakes. I'm grateful for my daughter. I'm grateful for my family, my sisters, whom I love to death, even though we don't talk; my brother, who put me on the path to comics to begin with. When I was quite young, my bro was my hero. I thought he was the greatest artist in the world, next to John Buscema and Neal Adams, and I longed for the day when I could work with him. Although he never got in the biz, and I never got to draw comics, I owe all of it solely to him. If you ever read this, Lee... thanks.

I'm grateful as well for my family's families; all the nieces, nephews, cousins, just for living their lives as best they can. Special shout out to my grand-niece Janine, who beat her bout with Cancer by pretty much kicking its ass! Props to Phillip, Renee, and Phillip Anthony, too!

I'm fortunate to have many circles of friends (from the inner circle to the outer rings) who have shown me nuttin but love over the years, and they include (in no particular order) Shorty/Candy/TMalo70/Tony Maldonado, Juan Arevalo, Johnny Gomez, Nick Muntean, Eric LeFeber, LaMorris Richmond, Tony Akins, Lou Bank, Mark Cox, Dan Dougherty, Doug Klauba, Len Kody, Gary Reed, Norm, Kevin, Mike, Sonny, TTrib, Davers, Andy, Tom, Cindy, Iris, Vic, and many many more, too many to mention here.

Hope you all have a great holiday, and please give Peace a chance.



Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Whew! Just got back from San Diego. What a whirlwind trip! Helping my bud Tom Negovan and his Century Guild team set up the massive display booth took two full days, just about (hey, it was a 40 foot long wall!) and damn near kilt me!

All in all, the con went well. Did a Phantom panel with my Moonstone cronies, talked a bit about my upcoming Phantom:Man Eaters book, beautifully illustrated by Vatche Mavlian and presented in WideVision (one illustration spread across two pages, with text above and below). Also saw the latest WideVision release, Law Of The Jungle, drawn by Eisner nominee Paul Guinan, and written by Moonstone head Joe Gentile. It should be out now and it's awesome!!!

Friends what I made, Peoples what I met:
Dan Brereton, Nocturnals creator, whom Century Guild honcho Tom Negovan and his new Olympian Publishing imprint will publish very soon, presenting all the previous Nocturnals tales in 3 hardcover volumes, in preparation for a new series!!!

Dan Dougherty, writer/artist of the awesome Moonstone title Cyclone Bill, which he did in grey wash! The book looks great, buy one today. I also saw pages from Dan's new project, Newton, about the meeting between Sir Isaac Newton and the Lord of Gravity! Kick-ass!

Alex Saviuk, Jon Foster, Shannon Denton, Joe Pruett, and many many more, all great, all talented, all deserving of your attention!

Look for me at WizardWorld Chicago, August 4, 5, 6 with a preview night Thursday, the 3rd. I'll be sitting at the Transfuzion Studio table in artist alley, booth #3085, with my guys Gary Reed and Steven Jones. My other venture, Hyperthetical, will be located at table #3117, with co-conspirators Jon Knipping, Nick Muntean, and Antonio Maldonado. Visit us there and often, won't you? I'll be signing any and all copies of anything I might have ever written, so if you've got a book of mine, bring it by! Cool?

Okay, more later...

Monday, July 17, 2006


Hello, People!

As I prep for the airport on my way to sunny San Diego, I just had to drop a line about my home away from home, NEF. National Equity Fund is where Uncle Raf makes the bread he needs to support his comics writing habit, kiddies. Yes, that's right, I have a day job! And you thought I made my dough strictly through writing...

NEF is, in its most basic definition, a company that funds housing across the country for folks what need it, like New Orleans. At least, that's what I think it does, the whole thing is too complicated for my addled brain.

Anyway, there are a number of really cool people who make my job easy, and who have been instrumental in my going to San Diego to begin with: first up is Ms. Gaylene Domer, aka VP, Office Services, aka "Boss". It is she who has been awesome enough to allow me the time off to even go to SD, so any success I have there is all because of her! Thanks, Boss! Now I really owe you a year! Let's make that happen soon, yeah? Before some big-time publisher snatches me away!

Next up is Mike Mreibe, my partner in crime at the Copy Center. Mike is a big ol' comic geek, and I've been re-living my youthtful geekness through him. Mike even loaned me his laptop so that I can continue to write away from home. Thanks Mike! Hold the fort in my absence, yeah?

My next two favorites are Raquel Blanton and Randall Glenn, receptionist and general assistant, respectively. Both very nice folks, and both quite capable of handling things while I'm gone. In fact, they may be too good, and my job might be in jeopardy. Yikes!

More quick shout-outs to Jesus "Sonny" Doctor and Victor Villalpando; make sure Mike doesnt' freak out, okay?

That's if for now, kiddies; next time I write, I'll be in SD, basking in the glow of comic-geekdom.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Hello, Kiddies!

It's yer old uncle Raf here with lots of news... a lot has happened, and it just dawned on me that I haven't updated this blog since March!

FIRST UP: Yours truly will be attending the SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON thanks to the generosity of Tom Negovan and his Century Guild/Olympian Publishing concerns. When I'm not haning out at Tom's impressive booth, ogling the beautiful artwork of Mucha, Klimt and others, or the incredible paintings by artist Gail Potocki, or being awed by the 40 FOOT WIDE BANNER FEATURING THE NOCTURNALS by Dan Brereton, I'll be visiting my second family, Moonstone, at their booth. I'll also be attending the Phantom panel, discussing some of my new projects featuring The Ghost Who Walks. Otherwise, I'll be wandering the aisles, looking for a friendly face. Stop me and say hi, or point me to the bathroom, won't you? Thanks.

SECONDLY: I want to officially announce (on this blog, anyway), the formation of TRANSFUZION, the intellectual property development studio co-founded by writer/publisher Gary Reed and myself. We had our debut at the wonderful Motor City con a few months ago, and were joined by member Randy Zimmerman. Fourth Musketeer Steve Jones was unable to attend, but we'll see him soon, I'm sure. TRANSFUZION has one basic tenet, and that is to find artists to assist we four writers in developing projects for publishers, film studios, and gaming companies, among others. Visit the site to see some of the projects we are currently developing, yeah?

NEXT: While at Motor City, Gary and I met with a swell bunch of guys from A FISTFULL OF COMICS, who interviewed a number of people in attendance, including living legend Jim Steranko, the crazy cats from ACTIONOPOLIS, Gary and me, and one of my dearest, closest friends and partners, cARToonist extraordinaire Antonio "ShortRound" Maldonado. You can check out the interviews at and my specific interview at

That's all for now, Chilluns. Hope to see many of you at San Diego! Tell yer friends, 'kay? Oh, and write me!!!


Thursday, March 09, 2006


The alarm clock goes off about three minutes after my eyes open. I should be tired, but I've just spent the last year, doing the exact same thing; gettin' up at this time to prep for my temporary assignment at the fabulous Peninsula hotel, where Oprah's guests stay, apparently. Normally, I'd brush my teeth, head downstairs to grab a cup of coffee, step outside the backdoor and sneak a smoke. Think. A lot. About a lot of stuff. Then I'd have another cup, snack on a honey bun, or a danish or something, take my vitamins, jump in the shower. Then get dressed, a quick check of my email, and race out the door to catch a bus, then a train, downtown to make a 6 AM start time.

Today, however, is different.

Today, I'm going to New York, to attend the New York Comic-con, where I will meet my new publishers, Narwain. Particularly, Sabrina and Dario, the head of marketing and editor in chief, respectively.

SATURDAY, 2/25/06. 5:30 AM
On the road to the airport. My wife, Amy, is driving. I look at her, glancing from the corner of my eye, and realize once again how important she is to me. When Sabrina contacted me about the possibility of my attending this con, the first of the year that Narwain will exhibit at, I considered it an opportunity to get to know, on a personal level, my new publisher. Up til now, Moonstone Books has been putting out my books. I owe a lot to them, but have been wanting to spread my wings a bit. How odd to find a home for my project with a company based in Spoleto, Italy, just outside Rome!

After mentioning it to Amy, the idea of attending the con, an hour later, she had my itinerary in hand: flight and hotel info, all laid out for me. All I had to do was show up! God bless her, she knows how important this is to me, and takes great pains to make this creative struggle of mine much, much easier to contend with. The fact that Amy considers New York to be the city she'd move to at the drop of a hat is mentioned only once; she's been there a number of times, with me, with her family, but this is the first time I've gone by myself since we met and married. I feel a little guilty for her not going, but I know that we can't afford the both of us taking the trip. We really can't afford my going, solo or otherwise.

The convention began on Friday, so I'm already a day late. I think, in hindsight, I should have gone the day before, but with my last day at the hotel and the expense of another night's stay at the hotel, Amy and I have decided this was best.

She drops me off at the American Airlines terminal. We kiss, I grab my bag, and I'm out the door. She peels away before the airport cops give her any grief for spending too much time parked. It's a little after 6 AM, and I stand outside, smoking a last cigarette before heading in. I quickly check my cell phone, which is set to silent. A voice message. It's Amy, giving me one last ego boost, wishing me luck and telling me she's proud of me and loves me. I smile, crush out the butt, and head into the terminal...

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Hey, kids!

Just another quick reminder that I'll be at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC this weekend for the comic convention. I'll be arriving around noon, New York time, on Saturday, wandering around the center until 3:30 pm, when I dash over to booth #110, sitting with the good folks at Narwain publishing. On Sunday, I'll be sitting with Narwain at 12 noon. I'll be talking about my upcoming Narwain book, The Apocalypse Plan, and talking and signing about any of my other books, or any damn thing.

Every other time, I'll be wandering around, hoping to get noticed.

Tell your New York friends to stop by and visit, okay?

On Monday, I'll recap my trip. See ya!

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Whether by happenstance or design, 2006 is shaping up to be an interesting year for me, as many of my projects are scheduled to be released, while many more are in development.

For the five of you who follow my career, herewith is an incomplete list o'stuff from the mind of Raf...

This is a 96 page book published by Moonstone in their "Widescreen" format; one illustration running across the top of each two-page spread, with accompanying text underneath. In essence, it's a heavily illustrated prose story. The art for this project is by Vatche Mavlian, who's done work for Marvel and Digital Webbing and others. Vatche is a wonderful artist who evokes a real pulp flavor to the work, and is sure to increase his fan base with his work on this. I'm such a fan of Vatche's that we've already discussed the possibility of collaborating on something else! Visit for more information on this project.

For those of you who DON'T know the name Tony Akins, well, shame on you and move out from under that rock! Akins is a long time comic artist of stellar talent. His most recent work was the Papa Midnite miniseries from Vertigo, and he is hard at work on the new Jack of Fables series for the same company. I've known Akins for quite a number of years, and consider myself a rabid fan of his work. We've often discussed the possibilities of working together, and it's almost happened a few times over the years. Now, finally, opportunity didn't just knock, it beat the door down!

Mr. Akins and I are contributing a ten page chapter in the just-announced Phantom Annual from Moonstone, where we will find ourselves in the illustrious company of Ron Marz, Chuck Dixon, Mike Bullock, Tony Bedard, Graham Nolan and more, who are each telling one segment of a much larger Phantom story that takes place over many decades, and focuses on a jade dragon that gives its owner power over the elements. The Phantom's mortal enemies, The Brotherhood of Singh, are trying to retrieve the dragon, which has been separated into five pieces. A wonderful idea, a great gathering of talent (plus me!), and a sure-fire hit. Check the Moonstone website for more information!

Moonstone publisher Joe Gentile has graciously asked me to contribute to this anthology of prose stories featuring the adventures of The Spider, a pulp character that is so violent he puts the Shadow to shame! This collection of stories will be in the same format as Moonstone's successful Kolchak book, and features a plethora of talented creators, with artists providing spot illustrations. I can't tell you too much about my story yet, but I promise, it'll be a roller-coaster of carnage! Details to follow as we get further along.

I've already mentioned this project in a previous post, but wanted to include it here as a reminder. I've just seen the colored cover mock-up, and it's real purty! I'm very excited to be working with new-ish publisher Narwain on this three issue mini-series; I haven't felt this loved and respected (outside my marriage) in years! The interior art and covers are by Aaron Kuder, an artist I followed on the Penciljack site. His figure work is gorgeous! Promotion for this Heaven-versus-Hell horror/thriller begin in earnest at the New York Comicon, where I'll be sitting in with the Narwain-ians. See previous posts for details.

This isn't a book, but it is quite the project! Gary Reed -- former publisher of Caliber Press, incredible writer, and good friend -- and I are joining forces to create an intellectual property development studio and content builder, called TransFuzion. This idea stems from innumerable conversations that Gary and I have had over the years about the current state and uncertain future of comic books. Our goal is to create properties that can be exploited across the entertainment board, from video games to toys to film and television, and comics of course! Joining us in this venture are Steven Jones and Randy Zimmerman, two incredibly gifted men who will bring their own special skills and talents to the table.

TransFuzion will have its debut this May. Watch this blog for more details as they develop!

The following items are projects in development. As of right now, they are scheduled to appear later this year, but the formats and details have not been worked out, nor have their ultimate destinations in terms of publishing houses. However, this being my blog, I wanted the five of you to get this information first! Whether you want it or not!

Her name is Stella Ito. She's the daughter of a Japanese-American Army General, and an African-American model and actress. Stella's mother died in childbirth, and she has been raised by her globe-trotting military father, who wanted a son, no mistake, when you consider some of Stella's unique skills; she's a marksman, a black belt in two different martial arts disciplines, a gymnast, and more!

She's also a private detective, a career move that is thrust upon her a short while after the untimely death of her father, when a former friend of his, an exotic dancer named Athena, comes a'calling. Seems the stripper has attracted the attentions of a handsome young South American, the son of a diplomat and a reputed drug lord! Fearing for her safety, the stripper seeks out General John Ito, and finds, instead, the feisty, sexy, and lethal Stiletto!

STILETTO: ...SINGING IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT is currently planned as a three issue miniseries of 24 pages each. The artist for this project is Richard Jordan, another artist I "discovered" at, who is hard at work on fleshing out my little "Blasian" heroine, even as we speak. I'll post art and provide more details about this project as they develop.

Yet another Penciljack contributor, Arnie Gordon, provides the artwork for this retro/future Private Eye story. Harry Cycyk is a man who gets things done; the former Chicago cop was only the second person to win on "House-O-Death," the phenomenally successful t.v game show. He was also the last, as his unique method of successfully completing the challenge caused the show to be canceled, and his million dollar purse was used to pay the legal fees brought on by the litiginous producers. All too soon, Cycyk found himself penniless, and on the street. However, his past experience, quiet demeanor, and obvious cleverness put him in the spotlight of people who need problems solved, quietly and efficiently, and Cycyk finds himself employed as a private investigator.

In RED DEATH, Harry investigates the disappearance of the wife of the city's most prominent billionaire, a much younger wife who may be involved in the creation and sale of an insidious designer drug known as 'Red Death'. What Harry Cycyk discovers is not at all what he expects, and he finds himself in an underworld of death and betrayal.

RED DEATH is planned as the first in a series of Harry Cycyk stories. I'll have art to show in a few weeks on this.

Did you ever wonder about those unseen, mysterious people who stick little labels in clothing and on products, that read "inspected by...?" No? Well, artist and Hyperthetical partner Antonio Maldonado and I have wondered about it quite a bit. Inspector 12 is the result of all that wondering.

An employee of Acmecorp, 12 works the graveyard shift, inspecting products called "Doodgies" as they roll along a conveyor belt. It's a thankless job, to be sure, but 12 takes his work seriously. Nothing fazes him. On this particular night, however, when a dead body rolls past him, 12 is shaken to his very core! Deciding to investigate, he discovers an evil plan that threatens the very future of Acmecorp, and could spell doom for himself!

INSPECTOR 12 is a romp through a possible future, when corporations rule the world. Our hero is the comic book descendant of Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton, as only the artistic minds of my erstwhile collaborators, Antonio (ShortRound) Maldonado and Steve Willhite, can interpret him. I'll be posting some samples of this fun little story in a few weeks.

That's if for now kids. Hope you like the ideas presented, and feel free to comment if you want to know more!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


"Hey Raf! I see that you're going to be at the NYC con on February 25th and 26th, promoting a new book you're doing with Narwain, called THE APOCALYPSE PLAN. What's that all about?"

Well, I'm glad you asked, uh... unknown person who is NOT Raf!

THE APOCALYPSE PLAN is a three issue, black and white miniseries, 24 pages each, that tells the story of the war between Heaven and Hell in a fairly unique way; it posits the idea that the two entities are Corporations, and their stock in trade is the manipulation and harvesting of souls. Pretty heady, huh?

One morning, Mr. Lamb, the President of the Grace Corporation, receives a package from the home office. Inside are four envelopes. Mr. Lamb opens the first...

An hour later, across town, Mr. Abaddon, an employee of Morningstar, Inc., is called to headquarters to investigate a bizarre scene; a dozen of his co-workers have been found horribly mutilated in a conference room, with no clue as to how they died!

This sets into motion an action-packed story of retribution and--dare I say it?--revelation that rock these two organizations to their very foundations!

Art for The Apocalypse Plan (TAP) is being handled by Aaron Kuder, an incredibly gifted artist who hails from Ithaca, NY. I first saw Aaron's art on, and was so impressed, I simply had to ask him if he were interested in collaborating. Luckily for me, he agreed! Unluckily for Aaron, he had to hit the ground running! You see, while I was trying to woo Aaron, Narwain, a publisher based out of Spoleto, Italy, was already wooing me! I'd sent the script to Narwain on a whim, having had a bit of bad luck with the property already, in terms of publishers and artists (but that's a story for another time). So, Aaron didn't have as much time as either of us would have liked, to develop the characters-- and our working relationship-- the way we would have liked. The fact that he has done as great a job as he has is a testament to his skills.

The good folks at Narwain have been bery gracious with me, and with this project. I'll post more details as they arise, and direct you to art as it is approved. I hope to have some type of flyer with me for the NYC con, and I hope to see lots of fans of my work. Although I'll be out there 'pimping' TAP, I will be happy to sign and discuss any of the other work I've done in the past 20 years.

I hope that you'll be as please with THE APOCALYPSE PLAN as I am to be writing it!

In a separate post, I'll be talking about some of the other projects that I'm working on.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


This just in, kids!

I will be attending the NEW YORK COMIC-CON on Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26, 2006 at the rockin' Javits Center!

I'll be sitting at the Narwain Publishing booth (#110), spreadin' the love at 3:30 pm on Saturday, and 12 noon on Sunday. Why Narwain, you ask? Well, it's cause I just signed a contract with them to do-- ooh, you sneaky buggers! You know I can't talk about that right now! Not 'til the official announcement anyway!

However, while I'm touting the joy that is Narwain, I'll also be on hand to sign purt'near everything I've ever written, so all you Hellstorm, Tales From The Heart, Vampire: The Masquerade, Cold-Blooded, Phantom, Mr. Moto, Edgar Allan Poe, etc, fans, bring copies for me to sign! Make me look good in front of my new publishers, okay? Okay! Spread the word!


Okay, so my wonderful wife, my darling daughter, and some ugly mug names Steve Wilhite all took me to task for not updating my blog in a loooong time. Which, frankly, surprised me. I had no idea that anyone actually read this thing!

While I can't write everything I need to this go-round, I did just see something that bears posting.

As none of you know, this is the 70th anniversary of the comics legend The Phantom. As part of the many commemorative things that I'm sure will appear, the good folks at sent out an email questionnaire to current Phantom creators. I did my fair share and some of my answers actually showed up in the article culled from those responses! Check it out here >

I was, and am, thrilled to be asked to offer my views on the guy in the purple underwear, and the other cats who wrote in also offer some cool insights. I'm urging every Raf-o-phile to read the article, and not just the bits with my answers. Well, maybe read my answers FIRST, and then read the other guys'.


Steve Wilhite, the guy who's last name I can never seem to spell right. He's from Idaho. He's an artist. I like him. He and Antonio (ShortRound) Maldonado and I are doing a project together called Inspector 12. Steve is living proof that they don't just grow potatoes over there! I'll tell you more about that project next time, as well as some of the other titles and creators that live in the Raffiverse, 'kay?