Tuesday, December 25, 2007


December has always been a tough month for me. My dad died on Christmas Eve lo these many years. My mom's birthday is in December, and she passed a few years ago as well. For this reason and others too personal to share, I've always been trekking through the dregs of my melancholic barrel, trying to scale the smooth walls of despair.

But I think it's because of this maudlin month that I rejoice in the love and company of friends and family. From blood brother to acquaintance, from relative to relatively friendly, the people in my life more often than not fill me with a sense of purpose and pride and passion, bringing to the table morsels of kinship and honoring my folks inasmuch as they honor me with their friendship and loyalty. I only hope that I provide them with the same succor.

I don't often write about the roiling emotion of the season; hell, I don't often write about my emotions at all, but this year has been especially... odd for me. Discovering new towns, new responsibilities, new skills, new friends has caused me to reevaluate a lot of what I thought previously important, strengthening my resolve to make 2008 a better year for me, for mine, and for all.

My sincerest wish of goodwill to all of you who have touched my life, and to those whose I might have touched. Keep your family always in your heart, your friends in your life, and your faith close at hand.

I am honored to know you and love you, however slightly, 'cause after all, this is the season of love and respect and faith, ain't it?


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Hey you guys!

Artist extraordinaire, good friend, and all around nice guy Douglas Klauba will be previewing pages from his newest comic at Mid-Ohio Con!

Here's what he writes:

"Mid-Ohio Con with Superpowers... Art!

I will be a guest at Mid-Ohio Con this week end, Nov. 24-25, Battelle Hall in the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Pop Culture! Art! Comics! Toys! and Amazing Celebrity Guests!For the first time I will be showing my pages from the upcoming Superpowers #0 from Dynamite Entertainment. Stop by, say "hello", hang out and check out my "Sketchbook" and prints.I will be set up next to the Moonstone Books booth."

If you live in Ohio, if you live around Ohio, if yer planning a trip to Ohio, go see Doug! He's awesome! And tell 'im Raf sentcha, okay?

For more info, visit www.midohiocon.com

ALSO! Why the heck aren't you visiting Doug's cafepress store??? What's wrong with you people?! Go there, RIGHT NOW, and buy his wares. This man has been featured in Spectrum! His efforts have been featured on the covers of THE PHANTOM! KOLCHAK, THE NIGHT STALKER! PAPERBACK COVERS! Do yourself a favore, will ya? Visit http://www.cafepress.com/douglasklauba You'll be glad ya did!

Monday, October 15, 2007


In the summer of 2007, history was made.

Well, history for me, anyway.

Gary Reed (the former publisher of the late, lamented Caliber Press) and I made the decision to partner up, and we created Transfuzion Publishing.

Actually, that's not entirely accurate, but close enough, I think.

And what is Transfuzion, you ask? Good question.

Transfuzion is a new/old publishing concern, of which Gary and I are the heads, that is dedicated to bringing out-of-print and rare comics as well as new projects to the masses by way of Print On Demand technology. By doing so, we can bring our books to the consumers directly, and bypass all the hoops that traditional comics companies seem to be jumping through.

What all this means, of course, is that you, the reader, will be able to enjoy our products more readily, without having to rely on retailers and distributors that might not deem our books 'saleable' enough to stock or carry.

Our first books are already available for purchase: OF SCENES AND STORIES, a compendium of short stories and snippets of other books, all written by Gary and culled from his long illustrious career as a writer, is out now, as is GHOST SONATA, JACK THE RIPPER, SAINT GERMAINE, and DEADWORLD, BITS AND PIECES. Visit our website, www.transfuzion.biz, for info on how to order any or all of these fine books.

"But, Raf, whither yer books?" you ask. Mine are coming kiddies, I promise. The first of mine to see the light of day will be a reissue of my well-received EDGAR ALLAN POE'S THE BELLS, in a handsome new package that reprints Juan Gomez's and my adaptation of this most excellent and haunting poem, first published by Caliber's Tome Press many moons ago, and excerpted in Tom Pomplun's exceptional Graphic Classics series. This new edition features pinups by talented (and generous) friends like Doug Klauba, Andrew Kudelka, Bill Halliar, Antonio Maldonado, and more, and will also include a couple of brand-new adaptations of rarely seen (in comic-form, anyway) POEms. Be on the lookout for that.

Shortly after, my own collection of past works, ODD BITS OF ILLUSTRATED FICTION, will see the light of day, and features short stories I've written over the last 20 years.

New stuff, Raf! We need new stuff, too!

Fear not, my many fans (all five of you)! 2008 will see a brand-new anthology series of stories from some of the most talented and illustrious personages working in the indy field today (and some from cats who may work for the majors, but are independents at heart!). More on this and some brand new graphic novels soon!

To say that I'm excited at this new chapter in my career is a major understatement; I've long admired Gary's skills as both a writer and a publisher, and I think that, together, we will achieve some combined life-long goals.

Of course, like any good creatores, Gary and I still have commitments to other companies, primarily Desperado (for Gary) and Moonstone (for myself). Both these companies are putting out incredible books, and Gary and I are proud to be a part of 'em. For us, Transfuzion is a way of releasing products that are just a bit more experimental, a bit more outside-the-norm, a bit more... personal.

It's going to be a wild ride, and we hope you'll come along for the ride!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007



The Wizard World Chicago show is finally over, and a grand time was had by all! I think...

The MOB RULE! group was on hand to sell and sign books, prints and original works. My friend and partner Gary Reed had many of his newly minted TransFuzion books on hand, like ST. GERMAINE and OF SCENES AND STORIES, and our little publishing venture seemed to cause quite a stir. You can read more about it here

Dashing Doug Klauba was selling his phenomenal Phantom prints, and pimped his gorgeous sketchbook titled THE DOUGLAS KLAUBA SKETCHBOOK which, if you think about it, is pretty appropriate.

John Siuntres of WordBalloon fame was there, sort of; seems its easier to go out and find celebs to interview than to wait for them to come to you; go figure.

Juan Arevalo sold prints of the sexy characters that are going to appear in his upcoming online webcomic.

Tony 'Madman' Maldonado also had prints on hand, as well as his funny/frightening sketchbook called CUCOS! which is Spanish for "lil scary monster things".

I was so busy playing mama hen to my MOB boys, I didn't have much of a chance to truly explore the convention, but I did get to see a number of old friends, and make a few new ones as well, some of whom will be making appearances in our newly (but unofficially) announced horror anthology.

I hope that, next year, we will have a lot more product to pimp, and the magic eightball says "YES"...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Authorities uncovered a plot by a nefarious group of artists, writers, and other bohemian ne’er-do-wells planning to storm the upcoming Wizard World convention in Chicago on Thursday, August 9th, through Sunday, the 12th.

The insurgents are intent on taking over the event, inciting riots and attempting to add numerous supporters to their dastardly cause. Their goal seems to be nothing short of world domination!

Early intelligence reports have identified key members of this mob; a full disclosure of their names and areas of expertise are as follows:

Rafael Nieves, a Writer (VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE; THE PHANTOM; MR. MOTO) and subversive, and the apparent ringleader of the mob whom, it is said, has threatened to sell and sign numerous publications from his 20 year stint in the field. Nieves has aligned himself with quite a diverse band of hooligans, which includes these known associates:

Douglas Klauba, Painter and Cover Artist for THE PHANTOM, KOLCHAK, THE SPIDER, DOC SAVAGE, ZORRO... will have copies of his Sketchbook for sale, packaged between full color covers, with never before seen drawings, sketches and roughs from throughout his career and, for the very first time, includes a special Phantom section of preliminary drawings and studies. Along with the Sketchbook, Klauba will have collectible postcard sets and DC VS trading cards on hand, and there will be a selection of limited edition fine art prints available.

Juan Arevalo is an Art Director and Freelance Artist who has collaborated with Nieves on various projects in the pre-production phase. Arevalo has worked with leading Christian publisher UMI and comics creator Michael Davis on the initial launch of THE GUARDIAN LINE of faith-based comics. He has also created character designs for an upcoming animation in association with toy company RC2. Rumor has it that Arevalo is currently working on a personal project, RIMANAKUY YAWAR-THE BLOOD COVENANT, a web comic due out next year.

Antonio Maldonado, Artist and Radical (CHILLIN'S, the cover art for band Aiden's RAIN IN HELL CD, and Game Animator for Spongebob Squarepants:Diner Dash 1 and 2 for Nickelodeon and Playfirst) has a number of projects in the works: a back-up story for Nieves' re-release of EDGAR ALLAN POE’S THE BELLS titled "Alone", and the graphic novel BLACKBIRDS, also with Nieves. This malcontent will be selling copies of CHILLIN'S and his CUCOS! sketchbook, and will be doing seditious Commission Sketches.

Dan Dougherty (CYCLONE BILL AND THE TALL TALES, KOLCHAK) will be previewing several upcoming projects, including two zombie period pieces, ROTTEN and NATIONAL HORROR, as well as the long awaited anti-gravity yarn NEWTON'S LAW.

Len Kody: The up-and-coming comics Writer started his career contributing short stories to the MOONSTONE MONSTERS anthology series, which is now available in trade paperback. He'll be selling and signing copies of his dark, Western mini-series, CISCO KID: GUNFIRE & BRIMSTONE. And he'll no doubt be talking up his long awaited CISCO KID vs. WYATT EARP crossover, a two-issue event also featuring the talents of Chuck Dixon and EricJ, scheduled for a late '07 release. As a Convention Exclusive, Kody will debut pages from his first independently produced original graphic novel, SOUTHSIDE COP, about the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Nick Muntean, the Writer of "Kay-rash" from the anthology CHILLIN'S. Currently working with Antonio Maldonado on their upcoming 2008 project DOOM DOOM: 21ST CENTURY GIRL, a book so quirky, so odd, so manic, so pop-culture that it's best and most coherent description is "The Archies on acid!" Nick and Antonio will preview their book with a special, for-sale print of the characters.

Juan Gomez, Artist (CHILLIN’S, EDGAR ALLAN POE’S THE BELLS) will be previewing his latest project, WHO? THE HEX! as well as MALGATO, a graphic novel to be released in 2008.

La Morris Richmond is a Writer/Publisher/Revolutionary who, through his B.L.A.M! comics imprint, has produced the comic series CANTON KID and PURGE. His BOOTS OF THE OPRESSOR and JIGABOO DEVIL remain benchmarks in provocative, guerilla storytelling. Richmond will invade the convention on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and will have copies of these books available for purchase.

John Siuntres is Host/Agitator of wordballoon.com, the best place to find podcast interviews with comicdom’s best and brightest. Siuntres is a raconteur and bon vivant nonpareil, so be warned!

All law-abiding citizens are urged to attend the WizardWorld Chicago convention and seek out this rabble at booths 4110 through 4120. Only by purchasing as much of their tracts and propaganda as possible can we deflate their scheme for rampant anarchy, preventing them from spreading their misinformation and half truths to the unsuspecting world!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007


Hello, my chillin's! Wanted to let you all know that both of my latest Phantom projects, Man-Eaters and 5 Days of the Dragon, are on sale e'en as we speak!

The Phantom: Man-Eaters was released in the Wide-Vision format, with a large art spread running across two pages of text. Artwork for this was done by the hugely talented Vatche Mavlian, who brought the goods, big time! Coloring is by Ken Wolak, a long time friend and long time talent!

The Phantom Annual #1: 5 Days of the Dragon is
is a group effort, featuring the mad writing and drawing skills of Ron Marz, Alan Goldman, Ruben Procopio, Mike Bullock, Tony Bedard, Juan Ferreyra, Tony Akins, Graham Nolan, Ken Wolak, and yours truly, all wrapped up real purty in a cover by Bret Blevins and Terry Austin!

Both books are available NOW at discerning comic shops everywhere. Visit the Moonstone to learn more by clicking here
I'm so happy I could pee!