Click Here to Comment on Hunter Black Page 666 – The Devil Has Come

Does anyone recognize this familiar face? We’ve only seen it once before, and there was a name associated with this face, although it was revealed elsewhere. Is Page 666 a milestone? Should we have skipped the number? I would never avoid the Devil, because when I hear that word, I think as much of the works of Matt Wagner, one of my idols and a creator whose creative sensibilities inform my own.

Man, we finally got to play some D&D. Let me tell you something: I’m a pretty good DM, but my boy Will, your beloved artist, KILLS it. I mean, he was halfway winging it today, and we had a BLAST. I needed that in the worst way.

We decided to start at 14th level. I’m playing a halfling Way of the Shadow Monk 6/Arcane Trickster 8. I usually play really alpha fighter-types, but I’ve been trying my hand at finesse characters lately. I head my own thieves’ guild, called the Monkey’s Web. My character is named Boldo Vinefoot, also known as “The Spider Monkey.” My wife, another thief, has been arrested by the local authorities, and I’ve been coerced into going on an adventure. (There are other PCs too, but we don’t care about them.)

Man, this was a great day. (I saw 22 Jumpstreet tonight with #Squirrel. Surprisingly hilarious.)

Become a Patron and help us be able to play more D&D!!! (More money means less day job. Less day job means more D&D. I’m just saying.)

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Click Here to Comment on Hunter Black Page 665 – Something New

Well…we’ve never done THIS before. Book Eight is finished, over, done. This is not yet Book Nine. Internally, we’re calling it Book 8.5, but it’s not that either. It is neither prologue nor epilogue; it’s…something between. It’s an interlude. It’s something we needed to do.

(Of course, we have to choose whether to tag it as one or the other for the sake of the archives. BOO. If it has to be one or the other, I guess it’s Book Eight. But it’s not Book Eight.)

DUDE. Are you people watching Stranger Things???


I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that Stranger Things, more than almost any show currently on the air, is what I was hoping TV (if not LIFE) for adults would be like when I was a twelve-year old in 1983. It is the show that Stephen King never wrote but probably should have, directed by the Steven Spielberg that was kicking around between Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Goonies. (I know, he didn’t direct The Goonies. But he did produce it, and did any non-Spielberg film ever feel more like a Spielberg film?)

I only signed up for because of Daredevil, but in terms of original programming, this is the best thing I’ve seen on Netflix. (Admittedly, that’s only Daredevil, Jessica Jones, House of Cards, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Frankie and Grace.)

Best of all, Stranger Things is a spiritual cousin to Hunter Black: it would never have happened without some adult nerds who used to play D&D. Nice to see the greatest RPG of all time shown as the influence it is.

(I still have X-Men #134. That makes sense if you watch the show.)


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Click Here to Comment on Hunter Black Page 664 – Never

Whew. Somehow, someway, we have made it to the end of Hunter Black Volume Two, and on what I consider an appropriately bad-ass note. This is one of those pages that diverges slightly but significantly from what I originally envisioned, and thank all the gods that it does, because it looks considerably better than what was in my mind’s eye. I love it when an artist knows what I want better than I do.

So, you guys have heard me rave about Star Wars Rebels, right? I still think that the finale of Season Two was the best episode of TV I saw this past year. It’s STILL saved on my DVR. It would be difficult for Season Three to live up to the promise of Season Two, and that’s a fact. I can’t help but remember how explosively awesome the Season Two finale of Hannibal was, and Season Three was a series-ending disappointment by comparison. So I’ve been keeping my hopes fairly moderate for the upcoming season.

And then this happened…


This won’t mean something to everyone, but if you were a fan of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, this guy is likely a big part of the reason why. Grand Admiral Thrawn is arguably the best Star Wars villain not named Darth Vader, and that’s no exaggeration. He’s cooler than the Emperor, cooler than Boba Fett, cooler than Darth Maul. He was introduced in the Heir to the Empire trilogy of books, written by Timothy Zahn, that basically launched the Expanded Universe. (I say basically because there were Star Wars novels long before Heir to Empire: Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, the Han Solo and Lando Calrissian trilogies, and probably more that I don’t recall.) There were threats to be faced after Return of the Jedi, and Thrawn was the proof.

People have been clamoring for Thrawn to join the canonical universe for a long time. When Episode VII was announced, Thrawn’s name was uttered by diehard fans more than any other, because we already had a great story to tell, just film the Zahn trilogy! Of course, that’s not what we got, nor should it have been, but the love for the character has always been evident…and Dave Filoni and his team are exactly the right people to bring Thrawn to the wider Star Wars audience.

I mean, if you watch Rebels or Clone Wars, you’ll see how they redeemed and rebuilt some of the characters named above. Darth Maul grew far beyond his appearance in Episode I, and I was reminded just how great a villain Darth Vader is by his appearances in Rebels. Dave Filoni and company GET Star Wars…and I truly believe that they get Grand Admiral Thrawn.

I can’t wait for the fall. I’m more eager for this than I am for Rogue One.

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Click Here to Comment on Hunter Black Page 663 – You Can Stop

When we started this comic, there was no thought of Hunter having a friend. Sordon was supposed to be the only one in Hunter’s corner, and even that was sketchy, since Sordon was the ghost of a man that Hunter had mistakenly killed. But we are inspired by the Parker stories, as we’ve said time and time again, and even Parker has Grofield every once in a while. There was never supposed to be anyone who was worried about Hunter, although Jasoom’s worry is enough to compel him to offer a little advice. That’s probably as far as he’ll go in terms of intervention.

Has anyone seen the Parker movie starring Jason Statham? I really didn’t like the fact that it was even made. Donald Westlake resisted letting Parker make it to the screen in an unadulterated form. Before Statham’s movie, every film adaptation of a Parker book featured a character who had a different name. Payback is an adaptation of The Hunter, but Mel Gibson plays a man named Porter. Darwyn Cooke’s comics were the ONLY adaptations of Westlake’s books that featured Parker as Parker, and that was what Mr. Westlake intended. Westlake’s body wasn’t even cold when they announced the Statham film. That seeming disrespect kept me from checking the movie out.

Anyway, I was just now Googling the Parker books and reading the Wikipedia entry on Parker to check the spelling of the name “Grofield” and was reminded of the film…which is more likely to pop up than the literary character when you Google the word “Parker.” Wikipedia reminded me of the film and I find myself curious. Not curious enough to watch the movie, but curious enough to ask you guys about it.

I actually appreciate Jason Statham. I wish his rumored casting as Bullseye had come to fruition; Statham gives off that perfect air of formidability that you want for a character like Bullseye…but it’s the wrong kind of formidability for Parker. He’s just plain too small for my tastes. Don’t get me wrong, that alone wouldn’t keep me from the film, my reasons for avoiding the film are more substantive than that, I like to think. I certainly swallowed a dirty-blond Daniel Craig as James Bond, I can take a Parker who’s bad-assedness is due more to skill than to power. But he’s still not the guy I’d want.

I don’t know who I’d want. Donald Westlake himself envisioned Jack Palance. A Sex In The City-era Chris Noth might have fit the bill once upon a time. (I remember when he was a cop on Law & Order, and pre-blog sex columnists were far in his future.)

Really? I don’t think I want anybody. I don’t want them to make Parker movies, any more than I want a young Han Solo movie. Sometimes, I think you have to accept that you only catch a certain brand of lightning in a bottle once.

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Click Here to Comment on Hunter Black Page 662 – We’re Done?

I actually agonized over the line “I’m taking ALL of Zezem’s shit.” It feels a little TOO modern for a fantasy comic, even as it feels just right for a crime story. In the end, I chose the line because it flowed out of me so easily, and because it’s what an agitated Jasoom would say…and Jasoom is definitely agitated right now.

Man. I literally have nothing to share with you guys right now. I don’t think you want to hear about my management team being in flux…since I’m talking about restaurant managers, not the team of people managing my writing career (because that’s just me with a little input from Will and #Squirrel).

I did discover a band I’m liking called the Monophonics. A decent throwback to soul music, which is something that I love…

…but that’s all I got at the moment. I should ask Will to write these for a few weeks.

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