Saturday, July 10, 2010


Seven shots of tequila.

Debbie should've known better, but she and her friends were at the same bar as some dude's bachelor party--the members of which were all trying to get laid--so obviously the girls're gonna get offered shots. But Debbie doesn't fuck around when she drinks. So she found the chubby-chaser in the group and down went the seven Patrons. If only she hadn't had the chicken nachos beforehand, she wouldn't have needed to go to the bathroom to puke, then she wouldn't have been grabbed and thrown out into the alley behind the bar, and she wouldn't be laying on her back, gurgling tequila, stomach acid and chicken nacho bile.

"Oh. Oh my sweet darling. There's no need to cry. This will be over so soon."

The words didn't comfort Debbie in any meaningful way, mainly because they were spoken by the vampire crouched over her.

"You smell so delicious, my sweet. Do you know that? I'd wager that in the entirety of your life up to now, you've never been told how beautiful you are. Your neck, your veins, your girth. Your form makes me quiver."

She was totally terrified of his fangs and strength, but somewhere in the small portion of her mind that wasn't terrified, she couldn't help wondering why this evil, blood-sucking monster was talking like a pussy.

"P-please dun eat, don't (huh) eat me! I won't tell, I'll-"

"Mmm. Your fear is decadent. A meal is so much the more appreciated when it squirms and struggles for its life. I can remember the first time I-"

The vampire's fey reminiscing was interrupted by the dull THUD of the bar's back door slamming open. Out stumbled a guy in jeans and a "Fuck Condoms" t-shirt. He puked roughly eight pounds of beer and blood before falling on his knees and gasping for air. Then he looked at Debbie and the vampire.

"uhGUDDAMMIT," he burped.

"It would be best for you to return inside, my friend," the vampire atop Debbie said.

"Motherfucker, get the fuck off her. Go fuckin' suck fuckin' cow blood."


The guy struggled to his feet. "Take. Your lady boots. And your gay-ass leather jacket. And fuckin' march to the pasture. And suck cow blood. Then fuckin' fuck the fuckin' dead cow if you fuckin' feel like it."

"I'm only feeling peckish, good man," the vampire said, "This heavy young lass is plenty to sate me. But I'm willing to gorge myself if you continue to pester."

The drunk guy spat more blood, then noticed he'd gotten a little vomit gravy on his "Fuck Condoms" t-shirt.

"Awww. Son of a fuck."

The vampire felt as though he wasn't being taken seriously. NOTHING makes a vampire more upset than when you don't take them seriously (they're very sensitive). So he got off Debbie and slowwwwly crept towards the guy, teeth brandished, fingernails at the ready.

The guy, REALLY GODDAMN FUCKING PISSED that his favorite shirt had shit on it, looked up and saw the vampire doing his whole Interpretive-Dancer-Pretending-To-Be-A-Hungry-Wolf thing that vampires do. He rolled his eyes.










Bullets don't kill vampires, which the guy knew. But bullets distract vampires. So the guy had brandished his gun ("Ass-Cutter") and put nine holes in the vampire while moving towards him. By Bullet #9, he was close enough to grab the vampire, break its arm, and throw it against the wall. The guy didn't have a stake or a blade, so he laid the vampire on its back and began the tedious process of stomping the vampire's neck until its head came off. This took about 90 seconds (he was wearing Asics, not the sharpest of shoes).

Vampire head finally separated from vampire body, the guy stepped back, out of breath. He put two cigarettes in his mouth and lit them. He looked down at his newly-bloodied shoes and got pissed again.

"You good?" he asked Debbie.

Debbie was just finishing a dry heave. She'd made the mistake of watching the neck-stomping episode, which she would NEVER forget for the rest of her life.

"Thang you. Thang you fer safing me."

"All good."

"Waz that like a real vampirr? Like a rill one?"


The guy would've taken advantage of the situation and had sex with Debbie, but he was still pissed about his shirt and shoes. He just wanted a drink.

"I'm getting a beer. You want anything?"

"Shudn't I call cops?"

"Fuck no."

"I thing I should call thum."

The guy threw the cigarette butts on the ground.

"Fine. Fuck. Yeah, fine. You're probably gonna need therapy or something. Give 'em a call."

The guy walked towards the end of the alley, thinking of where else he could get a beer.

"Who're yu? Like, d'yu wan me to tell them about yu?"


"Can yu tell me who yu arr?"

He looked Debbie up and down, considering the whole Sex-Because-I-Saved-Her thing again. But that's the 6th-worst kind of sex. Not worth it.

"Like I won' tell thu cops. I just wana know. Like how yu knew how t'like kill a vampirr?" she said.

Neville lit two more cigarettes.

"Because I'm a fucking vampire."

Three hours later, Neville ordered a new "Fuck Condoms" t-shirt online.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Meetings. They are not fun. Even if you work in comics.

So during meetings, I draw really ugly cartoons, making fun of comics. These are I DREW EVERY ______ STORY IN ONE COMIC comics. I make ignorant generalizations about characters (either because I love them or can't stand them) and then draw them. Badly.



captain america


dr. strange


iron man


iron fist


nick fury



scarlet witch


professor x


Sunday, June 27, 2010


I was born in 1981. Took me 29 years to gain 160 pounds.

Val Kilmer was in Top Gun in 1986. Took him 24 years to gain 580 pounds.

Poor Val Kilmer. Just because he's a horror on movie sets, he likes to live alone in huts, and he's just generally not a likable human being, we've now reached the point of having to watch this puffy version of him in stuff like MacGruber, and hear him as the voice of K.I.T.T. in the should've-been-cancelled-before-it-aired revamp of Knight Rider.

But let's not cry for Kilbo. Let's remember the good times:
-He was the absolute SHIT as Doc Holliday.
-He chomped ice exceedingly well in Top Gun.
-He got to be in a scene with Elizabeth Shue without her shirt on.

And so it is with exceeding love that I introduce the KILMER BATTLE BRACKET, where we determine which Kilmer is the best Kilmer. This is very much like that movie The One starring Jet Li (which I've not seen), where all sorts of Jet Li's go around killing other Jet Li's from other dimensions, to absorb their energy. Just imagine
a bunch of Val Kilmer's doing the same thing (though if the current Val wins, he won't try to absorb energy so much as just try to eat whomever he defeats. Because he's very hungry.)

At the beginning of every fight, you release both Val Kilmers 10 miles from each other, naked and unarmed. They've gotta find each other (they can pick up clothes and weapons on the way) and fight to the death.

I've picked my 16 favorite (and least favorite) Vals, and put them in 2 regions: Pre-1995 & Post-1995 (The year he was in Batman Forever and Heat. I consider this the last time Val had a "good" year). They're bracketed as follows. You guys vote ONE BATTLE AT A TIME (by posting a message), and I'll pick the winners based on number of votes (or if someone makes a REALLY compelling argument for an upset pick). LET THE MANY ASSKICKINGS OF VAL KILMERS BEGINNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FIRST FIGHT. From the Pre-1995 Region:

2) ICEMAN vs

Monday, June 21, 2010


I don’t sleep well. Ever. I can count on one finger the times I’ve closed my eyes and gone unconscious with ease. It was a problem for a long while, ‘til someone with the same problem suggested I do crosswords in bed. Crosswords keep my mind focused, releasing the day’s struggles with each Down and Across, helping me to surrender to the bed. My grandmother told me about crosswords. She taught me how to sleep.

Her name was Marion Dampeer. Her grandkids called her Mama D. She was the mother hen of my mom’s side of the family, inviting every relative to her house for every holiday (even if the house’s square footage didn’t always allow the amount of bodies she attempted to squeeze in). She added sugar to nearly everything she cooked and a smile to everything she said. She was the sweetest person I have ever known.

Mama D died on June 14th. Her body wasn’t able to take the chemotherapy she’d been receiving for her inoperable pancreatic cancer. But in the months before she left, before she was too weak to take care of herself, it would’ve been hard to notice that she was fighting for her life. Her smile and laugh were the only thing that the god-awful chemo couldn’t touch. It wasn’t like she was trying to hide her anger or fear; I honestly think she didn’t know how to be a negative person.

I flew back home to Columbus, Mississippi to be with my family this past week. I’d lost my other grandmother (Mama C) around the same time last year, so I knew my job at this kind of thing was to not cry while others in my family cried. We stayed upbeat by telling funny stories about Mama D, like how she’d get angry when my granddad would eat full tubs of Cool Whip (which he still does).

We buried Mama D on June 16th, my parents’ 31st wedding anniversary. The funeral home was full of elaborate flower wreaths and bouquets sent from loved ones, but the coffin, Mama D’s coffin, just had a single yellow rose wrapped in silver paper with a white ribbon. Simple, pretty, perfect. Like Mama D.

Right before visitation, my Great-Aunt Bettie Jane said she wanted the rose to be taken out of the paper, so I unwrapped the rose and carefully placed it back on the coffin, pocketing the ribbon. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the ribbon, I just know I need to keep it.

I’m on the plane back to New York as I write this, alone and crying for the first time since she died (whatever, I’m a wuss). And I’m remembering what my mom asked the pastor to say at Mama D’s eulogy: When we were little, Mama D would tell the grandkids cat stories before we went to sleep. The stories were simple, never anything too scary or upsetting, just pleasant little yarns to end the day. To help us sleep.

And so even though I’m not very fond of cats…this one’s for you, Mama D.

I love you. I miss you.



by Nathan Cosby

Buttons hated her name. Buttons. What were her humans thinking?

Bad enough she lived in a little house with three humans. Bad enough she had to pee in a box everyday, never being allowed outside. And bad enough that she had to deal with that dadgum dog all the time. On top of all this, every time someone saw her, she had to hear the name Buttons, and know the name was hers.

That’s why Buttons didn’t really see any downside to her escape plan. Best-Case Scenario: Freedom! Worst-Case Scenario: Stay Here With That Dog! There really wasn’t any controversy going on in Buttons’ tiny cat mind.

So Buttons woke up that morning before everyone, before the baby started crying, before the big humans yawned and made their hot black wake juice. She went downstairs and peed in her stupid box (This is the last time, she thought). She went behind the fridge and ate the extra cat food she’d hid yesterday. And then she quietly crept under the couch near the sliding door that led to the unfenced backyard. And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And thought.

Wonder what my new owners will name me. Something more respectful. Teresa? Nah. Yolanda! That’s totally sophisticated. I kind of look like a Yolanda. Maybe if I-

“Whatcha doing?”

Buttons’ head slammed into the bottom of the couch, nearly giving her a cat concussion. It was that dang dog.

“Ooh, did that hurt?” the dang dog said.

“Hush! I’m in the middle of an elaborate escape plan!” Buttons hissed.

“Neat! Can I come?”

“Can you—the humans let you out five times a day! You could escape whenever you want!”

“Why would I try to leave? The humans give me food and bones and water and treats and rub my belly and clean my ears and let me run outside and dress me up for Halloween and give me table scraps and—“

“They do that for you,” Buttons said, “They make me stay inside all the time and eat the same nasty wet kitty food everyday.”

“But…you’re a cat. That’s what cats do.”

“Maybe I’m ready to be a cat on my own terms. There’s a whole big world out there, just waiting for me to grab it by the paws and shake the life out of it, like a farm mouse!”

The dog thought about this. “So, you’re leaving?”

“Yes,” Buttons said in that way that she said things to the dog when she knew the dog was trying hard to understand the simplest stuff in the world.

“For good?”

“For good. Get away from the couch, I’ve got to surprise the humans when they open the door for you.”

The dog walked over to the recliner on the other side of the room, jumped up on it, circled twice, sat, and gave a satisfied PHWMPH. He stared at Buttons.

“Can I ask a question, please?” the dog said politely.

“Go ahead.”

“If you’re angry at the humans because they treat you like a cat…then why do you think your new owners will treat you any different? The humans will have changed, but you’ll still be a cat.”

“Grah, you stupid dog, because I…I…”

Oh no, Buttons thought, the dadgum dog just made sense.


“Why don’t you just act like a dog?” the dog offered.

“A what!?”

“It’s easy. Just start biting everything and eating your food real fast and sticking your tongue out when you see humans and pee on the rug. They’ll treat you like a dog.”

Buttons considered this. Such a simple plan…but would it work? And could Buttons live with herself after going against the Cat Code established so many centuries ago, which expressly forbade cats from acting loveable and nice?

“Believe me, Buttons. The first time you beg for food at the table and they give you a french fry, it’ll all be worth it.”

Buttons cringed at hearing her name, but knew the dog might be right. And she’d always wanted to try a fry that’d been frenched.

“Would you…help me? With trying to be a dog?” Buttons asked.

“No sweat,” the dog said as he licked his butt.

“Ok. Then I’ll stay for a while, Buttons said. “But can you call me something different? I really hate being called Buttons.”

“Totally! You need a dog name. How about Jake?”

“Jake? That's not a girl name.”

“Who cares? Humans can’t tell what we are unless they look up under us.”

The dog leapt off the recliner, stuck out his paw and said, “Welcome to the dogs, Jake.”

Jake the Fake Dog stuck out her paw and shook the dadgum dog’s paw.

“Nice to be here.”

The End

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Wedding Gift From Barry Kitson

(Be Warned: The following is fairly unironic and even kinda sweet in places.)

In 1998, I wasn't reading a lot of comics. My monthly list was down to Robin, Impulse, JLA and Nightwing. Untold Tales of Spider-Man was cancelled the year before, so there were no Marvel books for me to read.

But my favorite comic that year was JLA: YEAR ONE. Mark Waid and Barry Kitson made a 12-issue masterpiece starring the "original" team of Justice Leaguers (Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Black Canary, Flash & Aquaman). Waid didn't just heap a pile of fightyness on us; he showed the insecurities, failures, and differences between all these people that came together to try to do some good in the world.

I emphasize differences, because my favorite aspect of the series, and my favorite part of Mr. Waid's work in general, is the layers of interesting personality tics and quirks he gives to each of his characters. In Ruse, there was Simon Archard, the genius mystery solver that refused to learn any language but his beloved English. In Fantastic Four, Reed Richards has such guilt over exposing his family to radiation that he dedicates his life (without telling them) to ensuring that the public love and trust them. In JLA: Year One, my favorite character was Aquaman. He was a congenial king of the seas, a fish out of water, trying to do good for a part of the world he was unfamiliar with (that being the part of the world not covered in ocean).

How unfamiliar? When Aquaman spoke, no one could hear him; he was used to the ocean currents carrying his voice further than air could. His hushed voice emphasized how out of touch Aquaman was with the the surface world. He was an earthling, but on land he was as alien as Martian Manhunter.

The best example of this, and my favorite page of this great series, is in Issue 2, Page 3. Aquaman sits on a dock (not on land, not on water), teaching himself to read with a kid's picture book. As he frustratingly makes his way through the stupid English language, Manhunter flies down to commiserate with his teammate, and impart a helpful tidbit. In one page, Waid and Kitson have crystalized the greatest parts of the American dream (a bunch of people from all sorts of different places, trying to get along in a new land and live together), teamwork, friendship and heroism. This isn't a manufactured scene forced between fight sequences to tell readers "Ooh look, they're people just like us! And they're happy to be helping us!" It's a natural, unrushed moment between good people that're unfamiliar with their surroundings, but determined to make a difference.

All that typing up above was a long-ass way of thanking my friend Barry Kitson for giving me the original artwork to JLA: Year One #2, Page 3. I talk to Barry about this page all the time (I'm sure he's tired of me bringing up a non-fighting page he drew 12 years ago), and I'm honored that the artist of my favorite page from one of my favorite comics would give me the greatest wedding gift a punk-ass Mississippi boy could ever ask for.

So Mr. Waid, thanks for writing such a great page for Barry to draw. And Barry, thanks for your friendship, kindness, and for giving me the first piece of comic art I'm going to have framed and proudly display on my wall.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Let me know what you think...


Steve tried to scratch his right hand. Unfortunately, his left hand was on the other side of the room, so scratching would have to wait.

“Hello,” Steve said, then heard as an echo reverberating around the large, completely darkened space he was laying in. Was Alicia in here? She’d been with him before he’d…what? What the hell had happened? Where was he? Man, being a zombie makes it hard to think about stuff. (“Stuff” being any thought outside of “BRAINS!” and “GET BRAINS!” and “THOSE BRAINS WERE GOOD. MORE BRAINS!”)

Steve felt around the ground with his one attached hand, trying to figure out if Alicia’s dead body was anywhere near him. He didn’t want her to be dead—he loved her, after all—but if she was dead, and she was around…waste not want not. As he ran his fingers across the soft floor, he realized all of his remaining fingers were broken. He made a mental reminder to tape tongue depressors to his digits once he found his way out of there.

“There’s nothing around you,” a voice from the darkness said, startling Steve enough that he fell on his face and knocked two more teeth out.

“How…d’you know?” Steve asked the darkness.

“I can see in the dark. The next closest guy to you is ten yards away.”

“Oh. Um…who’re you?”


“Are you…did you kidnap me?”

“No. I got captured and put here. You were here before me.”

“Is this like a…concentration camp?”


“For zombies. Like is this where they take us and kill all of us?”

“I’m not a zombie, dipshit. I’m a fucking vampire.”

Steve got a shiver down his spine (the shiver took a while to make it all the way down, because Steve’s spine was broken in at least seven places).

“Please…please don’t kill me.”

“You’re fucking dead, asshole.”

“Yeah, but I…you could suck my blood, couldn’t you?”

“Zombie blood tastes like a septic tank. Even if I sucked your blood, you wouldn’t get any deader than you alrea—goddammit, you fucking zombies are stupid.”

“Sorry, I’m not used to being…I didn’t realize vampires were real. I didn’t know zombies were real either ‘til three days ago, so I shouldn’t be real shocked or nothin’.”

“Just shut the fuck up until I figure out how to get out of here.”

“Can I help?”

“Fuck no.”

“Oh. Then…do you know where my hand is?”

Steve heard a few splashing steps, then silence for a second, then felt a limp hand hit him in the face and land in front of him.

“Thanks,” Steve said as he attached his left hand back to his wrist.

“Please shut the fuck up.”

As he sat quietly in his puddle and listened to more splashes (he assumed “Neville” was looking for a door), Steve thought to himself: Wonder where we BRAINS are. I was BRAINS walking, then I saw BRAINS that light BRAINS and Alicia screamed (wait she was already BRAINSBRAINS screaming before that) then…hey BRAINS wait! I BRAINS have a lighter!

Steve fiddled in his left pocket with his still-tingly-and-not-quite-totally-attached left hand. He pulled out his lighter, then realized none of his fingers were capable of turning on said lighter. So he used his remaining teeth to gnash against the button and turn on the flame. Jazzed by his own resourcefulness, Steve mashed his broken fingers onto the lighter button, smiled, and looked around.

Then he stopped smiling.

And you can’t really blame him, because if you saw a werewolf licking his own bleeding leg while sitting next to a seven-armed blue alien that was secreting glowing mucus, and if it suddenly dawned on you that the “room” you were in looked an awful lot like the inside of a stomach…would you smile?