Saturday, November 28, 2009


Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Me, I had my best one since fall of '02 when I first introduced Laura to my family! Great food and fun with the fam, and the addition of my first Dead Duck signing at Coy's Comics the day after made it an incredible holiday. But before I tell you about that signing, I need to promote my NEXT signing (click on the image to make it larger)...!

The sign says it all! As I've recounted before, Delta was my home from 1994-2001, and the best education I got there was serving on staff at The Delta Collegiate from '95-2001. So to be able to have a signing at my alma mater and to have my old newspaper sponsor it is an absolute thrill and honor. I hope to see some of you there, and to introduce Dead Duck to Delta's student body!

Now, if you're still curious about how my Coy's Comics signing went, I got pictures!

I arrived at Coy's around 11, and hour in advance to allow for set up, and I got to talk with Steve, my pal and manager of Coy's. I told him how huge a thrill it was for me to sign my comic at my childhood comic shop, a wonderful and almost surreal experience. Any comic creator who gets the chance to revisit his old comic shop and do a signing should jump at he chance. It's the sort of nostalgia that warms you to the core of your soul, an experience not to miss out on.

As usual, I snapped a photo or two of myself. Though I was certainly emotional, my tears weren't fogging up the lens here. I was just stupid and left my camera in my car overnight. Yay for condensation. Fortunately I was wise enough to bring my comics indoors.

Here's a brief overview of Coy's selection. Though the books have been rotated over the years, this is pretty much the same layout Dave Coy had for his store in the early 80's when I first started patronizing his shop. I can still smell the newsprint…sigh….

A shot of my table. This is similar to my set up at Wizard World Chicago, except I had less giveaways and original art. I did, however, sell a few prints at this signing, which was very cool.

My mom and her husband Scott arrived just after noon, my first customers. She took this picture of me.

This is me and my mom. I owe her more than I can ever express. Not only was she always supportive of my art and my dreams, but she never complained when I asked her to drive me to Coy's Comics as a kid. Sometimes she'd sit outside in the car reading a book while I pawed through the back issue boxes. Other times she'd come in the store with me, taking an active interest in MY interest in comics. She never dissuaded me from buying more "adult" comics, like "Batman: The Killing Joke" (even Dave Coy tried to talk her out of letting me have it), and she once stood through Dave Coy's thorough explanation of why Flaming Carrot is such a great comic book (p.s. I'm still a huge Flaming Carrot fan today). That's just a small part of why I love my mom, and why it meant so much for me to have her at my Coy's signing.

Here's my mom and her husband Scott…

Gradually, people started coming in, and to my great pleasure, they were all some of my oldest and dearest friends. Here's me and Becky, one of my closest friends and fellow Delta/Delta Collegiate/CMU alum…

And here is Ray, my oldest friend ever (as in longevity of our relationship--he's actually close to two months younger than me). Ray and I met in elementary school, and Ray was one of my earliest converts to comic book appreciation. Because of the now infamous day 20 years ago that me, Ray and our friends Bill and Danny rode our bikes to Coy's without Ray and Bill asking their mom's permission--and consequently got busted by Ray's mom before we could step foot in Coy's door--I signed Ray's copy of Dead Duck: "We finally made it to Coy's, Ray!" Similarly, I signed a copy for Ray's mom, saying: "Haha! We finally made it to Coy's, Mrs. Peters!"

And here is Premo, my second oldest friend, and beyond a doubt one of my very best. Premo even brought his baby girl Juliet with him. I offered to autograph the baby, but we suspected his wife Andrea would disapprove.

Here I am with my old CMU theater department friend Kristi Bogart, aka Kristi Fradette (or Fraday)…

My old Swan Valley high school friend Julie showed up with her boys Nathan and Justin. I gladly accepted her patronage of Dead Duck, and advised her that she may want to wait a couple years before letting them read it. Boobs abound, after all!

My old Thomas Township Parks friend Lindsey (who also modeled for a character in Dead Duck!) came out to see me…

…along with another old parks friend, Lindsey's sister Jo…

..and the queen of the parks herself, our old boss, Shelly and her nephew Levi. I worked for Shelly for thirteen years, and she allowed me to put my art to use in a job that was decidedly non-artistic. So she deserves a lot of credit for keeping me gainfully employed for over a decade. However, I felt enough time had passed that I tell her about all the times I drove the work truck down to Coy's when I was supposed to be working. If she only knew half the crap I got away with…

It's to my regret that I didn't get photos of my other friends who came to see me--my pseudo sis Emily and her finance Chris, my old Collegiate friend Gina (aka Gina Bo-beena), my old Swan Valley friend Theresa and my old Swan Valley English and drama teacher Mr. Bird (who's teachings were a huge influence on Dead Duck). If any of you guys have pics from Coy's that you took, please e-mail them to me or link me to them on Facebook. I'd love to show them off!

So my thanks to Steve at Coy's Comics (the absolute best comic shop in mid Michigan) for allowing me to hold my first signing there. It was such fun, and just one more piece of my childhood dream puzzle to fall into place!

To the rest of you, all my best, and I hope to see you at my next signing on Monday at good ol' Delta College!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009


My kids made it to me just in time! Five boxes worth of my Dead Duck graphic novel arrived at my door at 2:15 yesterday afternoon. I carefully and anxiously peeled away the wrapping, pulled out the first book within my reach and…

It's perfect. It's a beautiful, slick volume of Dead Duck, containing what I believe to be the best work of my career thus far. It actually turned out better than I could have hoped for. And now more than ever, I cannot wait to put it in your hands. I think you're gonna be impressed.

And if you want to be first in line for a copy of Dead Duck, then you need to get to Coy's Comics in old town Saginaw on November 27th--Black Friday (again, how appropriate!)-- between 12 and 2 pm. It's my first Dead Duck signing, and it being my hometown comic shop, I couldn't be more proud or excited to begin it here, since this is where my comic book appreciation began twenty five years ago! Click here for directions. And for any other info, call Coy's at (989)790-1810. I hope to see you there!

This being the day before Thanksgiving, obviously I have a lot to be thankful for. I'm thankful for the good fortune that's allowed me to fulfill my dream of being a published cartoonist, and the vision to see that there's still further to climb, and more dreams to accomplish. I'm thankful for my wife, Laura, for believing in me and supporting me in every way possible. And I'm thankful for all of you, for your combined and individual support. As a group, you'd made Dead Duck possible. And as individuals, so many of you have contributed personally, in inspiration, motivation, much needed relief and so much more. So I'm thankful for you guys. Corny, maybe. But true.

The happiest of Thankgivings to all you guys. Much love, and more fun to come!


Sunday, November 22, 2009


I feel like an expectant father who just so happened to birth a dead duck and a zombie chicken. Y'know, that old scenario.

I got a call from my publishers at Ape a couple days ago, and good news abounds. They've packaged up 200 copies of Dead Duck, and they're currently in transit to my humble digs here in Ann Arbor. And as the top paragraph suggests, I'm pacing around like an anxious daddy to be. Twenty years developing Dead Duck, five years developing Zombie Chick, three years working on the graphic novel, and two years working with Ape Entertainment, and it all boils down to five cardboard boxes filled with my creative brainchildren, to be delivered via Fed Ex stork to my doorstep on Tuesday, Nov. 24th.

I'd say it's been a difficult delivery, save that you all provided a hell of a sedative by pre-ordering the crap out of Dead Duck. My publisher tells me orders are almost to 900 copies pre-sold (including 300 ordered by a very big book seller) and have all but covered our printing costs, which means….gasp…I just might turn a profit on Dead Duck! Can you effing believe it?! They're even talking to me now about designing the first Dead Duck t-shirt, which I've been dreaming about since the beginning! So as I pace back and forth in the waiting room so see if it's a boy or a girl (who am I kidding--it's both!), I want to thank you for your assistance in the delivery. I barely felt a thing!

And in related news:


NOVEMBER 27TH, 2009 (Black Friday! How appropriate!):
Dead Duck book signing at Coy's Comics
301 S. Hamilton
Saginaw, MI 48602
12-2 pm
Call Coy's at (989) 790-1810 for more info
Click HERE for directions

Coy's is my hometown comic shop, the one where, at age ten, I first experienced the comics that would help shape my cartoon and writing style--Groo the Wanderer, Boris the Bear, 'Mazing Man, Flaming Carrot, Peter Porker, The Amazing Spider-Ham--where my friends and I got busted at age fifteen for riding our bikes on a comic buying pilgrimage (gasp) WITHOUT ASKING OUR FOLKS!! (P.S. My own parents were fine with it), and where I always said I would one day do a signing when I had my own comic book. That day has come, and I hope you can make it to experience it with me!

As I mentioned a few days back, anyone who pre-ordered Dead Duck through Coy's will be able to pick up their copy as of Nov. 27th. And anyone who didn't pre-order through Coy's but comes to my signing anyway will also be able to buy a copy from the stock I'll be bringing with me to sign. So now you have no excuse not to make it!


To date, I've done three podcasts to promote Dead Duck---

The Idiothead .com podcast
And just this past week,'s The related Recap

Each one has it's own flavor and discusses several aspects of Dead Duck. Plus you get to hear me nervously stammer through some very interesting questions! Click on each link to listen for yourself!


As foretold over a week ago, the final online Dead Duck comic was posted yesterday--meant to coincide with the release of Dead Duck next week. Of course, as I posted a few days back, Dead Duck's release has been delayed by a couple weeks (it should arrive before Christmas). But it's the final online comic nonetheless. You can click here to read the final sneak peek before the awesomeness of the graphic novel arrives and surpasses everything I've already shown you!


If you can't make any of my signings and you want to make sure Dead Duck gets in your hands, here's the low down of where you can order yourself some dark, cartoony greatness!

APE ENTERTAINMENT: Click here to order it directly through my publisher.

AMAZON.COM: Click here to order it through their site.

Give them the Dead Duck order code: SEPT090577. They should still be able to back order it for you.

YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE: Here is Dead Duck's ISBN number: ISBN-13: 9781934944721 I've checked, and Barnes and Noble and Borders do indeed carry Dead Duck, as should any bookstore you can imagine. They just require you to come in and order it!

So that's it, my friends! If I don't hear from or see you before next week, happy Thanksgiving! I look forward to bringing Dead Duck to as many of you as I can, first hand, at Coy's and my other coming signings!

Much love,


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


It wouldn't be Dead Duck without some kind of mishap. The graphic novel is loaded with episodes where Zombie Chick messes things up, Dead Duck messes things up, or something goes haywire with their pick-up. But their situation is never irreparable and always works out in the end. And so will this…

There was a problem with Dead Duck at the printers. The simplified version is that the artwork was getting cut off, so they had to re-size the entire book on the fly. The good news is that the problem was solved, and everyone who has ordered a copy (or copies) of Dead Duck will still be getting their books.

The bad news is that most people will not be getting those copies until two or three weeks after Dead Duck's original release dates. This means that if you ordered your copies through a comic shop, rather than getting them on Nov. 25th as originally said, you'll get yours somewhere around Dec. 10th or 17th. But if you ordered through Amazon, who gave an original release date of Dec. 9th, you will either get your copies just before or just after Christmas.

Now, there is an exception to all this. Anyone who pre-ordered Dead Duck through any of the three shops I'm currently signing at--Coy's Comics in Saginaw on Nov. 27th, Vault of Midnight in Ann Arbor on Dec. 2nd and Comic City in Canton on Dec. 5th--WILL have their books in stock on the day of each signing. My publisher is sending me a case of Dead Duck books that I will be bringing to these shops to cover any of their pre-orders. So all my signings, including my Delta College signing on Nov. 30th (which I'll provide copies of Dead Duck for), are still ON. You can click here if you need more information on them.

While I'm pleased that I can satisfy those who ordered their copies at the three shops I'm signing at, that does not forgive the delay the rest of you will experience. Some of you may have ordered Dead Duck as Christmas presents, and it's only a thin possibility that it will reach all of you in time. I cannot apologize enough for that. The love, support and personal effort you've all afforded me is what carried Dead Duck to print in the first place. And now for this to happen, well, that's just inexcusable. That is no way to repay your faith in me and my work. And I am so very, very sorry that it happened this way.

The light at the end of the tunnel is that Dead Duck is still coming out. I'm reminding myself of that as much as I'm reminding you. I'm still promoting it to the hilt--I'm doing another podcast tonight (The Related Recap, on, I've done three interviews in the past two weeks and am anticipating a fourth--so I'm not done fighting to make this dream a reality. I hope you can still get behind me despite all the craziness of the past couple months, and enjoy Dead Duck when it finally does reach you. For all I've had to go through to make it happen, it's just gotta be worth it in the end.

Much love, and many apologies,


Saturday, November 07, 2009


Let's get straight to the news, folks…!

I received this e-mail from my publisher on Halloween, and got a very nice treat indeed:

Checked the Diamond orders today...(Sales) more than doubled in the last week…what the hell did you do, Jay? Are those orders from your signings or something? It’s cool, whatever it is.

Basically, my publisher is saying that my putting out the word to all you guys to order Dead Duck like mad and to spread the word across the land is doing its job, far more successfully than he or I had anticipated. I've said it before and I'll keep on saying it, you guys have made this all possible, and owe you all my love and appreciation.
If there are still those of you out there who want to pre-order Dead Duck, it is not too late at all. Here are the outlets available for you to do so:

APE ENTERTAINMENT: Click here to order it directly through my publisher.

AMAZON.COM: Click here to order it through their site.

YOUR LOCAL COMIC SHOP: Give them the Dead Duck order code: SEPT090577. Check my signings and appearances list to see if I'm coming to your local shop--if I am, they may still be able to order you a copy and have it in stock in time for me to sign it for you!

Here is Dead Duck's ISBN number: ISBN-13: 9781934944721 I've checked, and Barnes and Noble and Borders do indeed carry Dead Duck, as should any bookstore you can imagine. They just require you to come in and order it!

So keep up the good work--if you haven't ordered your copy of Dead Duck, please do! And if you know others who haven't, please encourage them to do so!


I've just booked another Dead Duck signing! I will be at Comic City in Canton, MI on Saturday Dec. 5th from 12-3pm. It's barely a half hour north east of Ann Arbor, but it should work out for anyone who misses my signing at Vault of Midnight in Ann Arbor, MI on Wednesday Dec. 2nd. Comic City is one of my favorite shops in the area, and I'm very excited about appearing there!

I also want to remind folks that I'll be doing a brief power point presentation at my Vault of Midnight signing on Dec. 2nd. This will be exclusive to that signing and won't happen at any of the others, so if it's something you'd be interested in, that's the place to be and the time to be there!

And lastly, I WILL be selling copies of Dead Duck at ALL my signings, including Delta College on Nov. 30th. So if you've already got your copies, bring 'em and I'll sign 'em. And if you don't, I've got you covered!

You can view my entire list of signings and appearances by clicking HERE. Bookmark it and check it frequently in the coming months, since there's more of these types of events in the works which I haven't event mentioned yet!


Hopefully you've been keeping up with my online Dead Duck comic over the past however many months since I began it. And if so, I hope you've enjoyed it. I say "enjoyed" in the past tense because I'm indefinitely retiring the online comic.

It was always intended to be a limited engagement, a brief sampling of what the graphic novel will have to offer. And as such, I've shown all that I'm willing to show outside of the book itself. With just over two weeks until Dead Duck is released world wide, I've timed it as best I could that the online comic will run its final page on Friday, Nov. 20th, five days prior to the release.

For those keeping track, I've run precisely seven stories online, leaving eleven stories that are exclusively for the eyes of those who purchase Dead Duck. And believe me, those remaining eleven are where the magic are.

Don't get me wrong--the stories I've posted online are some of my favorites. But I purposely left out any that dealt with Dead Duck's origin, big epic tales, and those that I consider the pinnacle of my artistic and writing capabilities. You can't feel that energy through a computer monitor. You need to hold that mass of glossy paper in your hands and experience it with your face inches from the page, as any good comic is meant to be enjoyed. And brother, you better believe this is a comic meant to be enjoyed. I can't wait for you all to see what I've kept from you all this time!

I may come back and post new material on the online Dead Duck comic eventually. But for now, please visit the site HERE and enjoy yesterday's post, and the final two that will be coming in the next two weeks.

That's it for now, folks. More news to come, and I look forward to sharing it with you!

Much love,