I'm going a bit crazy today because I can't find
my keyring. It has the car keys, the condo keys, and the remote
door release for the car. I'm terrified some car thief is
going around Oak Park try to remotely open random cars. Yeesh.
I've looked everywhere the keys could logically be, and a
few places they couldn't. After having searched it thoroughly,
I'll be pretty sour if they turn out to be in the fridge.
On the plus side, I'm home almost all day 'cuz I'm a comic
book artist. For those of you who dream of drawing comics
someday, remember that the job requires a guy to become a
house husband. I'm a damn fine homemaker, for a guy.
Mmmmm, the beef roast in the oven smells good!
I've gotten script recently from both Warren Ellis (Globel
Freeq #12) and from Alan Moore (for The 49ers).
A lot of folks ask what I read. The sad truth is I read what
comic shop owners recommend to me. If you ask you local shop
clerk, you'll get as good of advice as I'd give you. Really
enjoying Batgirl, Year One in trade paperback. I've also been
reading WWII histories for the last year or two. My current
focus is Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. There's
a reason there are so few movies about it. It was a bad time
for the US Army, and the beginning of a harsh learning curve.
It's almost Thanksgiving, and I'm feeling pretty grateful
to have a decent job, regular hot meals, a bed and a roof
over my head. Gotta get back to work so I can pay for all
October 9, 2003
I'm briefly getting back to work after the Minnesota Fall
Con. As usual, one of the best run and friendliest cons you
can attend. I couldn't make it to the saturday dinner or the
late night poker game. One guy walked away with about $900,
another guy got $6, and everyone else had to buy new shirts.
Or so the chitchat goes.
Tomorrow, I close on my new Oak Park condo. As cool as that
is, that does put a big crimp into my work schedule. As if
I wasn't slow enough. (Sorry, Scott). Gotta lot of painting,
sending out change of address cards, moving boxes, etc, ahead
of me. And my car is dying, so I'll have to get a new one
right after I finish the move.
Guess I better try to get some more pencilling in right now!
August 12, 2003
I've finally recovered from the "Wizard World Chicago".
Does anyone know what happened to the mini-Eiffel tower in
front of the Sofitel? Was it too obvious a target for terrorists?
Was it torn down during Chicago's anti-Franco riots? Did too
many drunken conventioneers try to climb it?
Thanks to all the readers who came by and said "hi"
during the con. And even more thanks to those who donated
to CBLDF or ACTOR
to get a "really nice" sketch. Many of you waited
in line over an hour to get a tiny little head shot. I honestly
wouldn't do that, so you have my respect.
If you ever get the chance to hang out with Scott Dunbier
or Jim Lee, jump at the chance. Really nice people. I wouldn't
be able to handle their adoring public, much less their official
duties. Like Patty Jeres throwing baguettes at Jim Lee while
he tried to eat (she's a very naughty girl). Or Scott Dunbier
herding drunken comic artists and retailers away from the
Jim Lee gave me some drinking advice. If you're an Asian
who turns red when you get drunk, you have "alcohol flush
reaction" or the "Asian flush". Jim recommends
taking a Pepcid AC 20 minutes before you expect to take a
drink. You'll still be drunk, but your face won't color.
The morning after the con, Albert
Moy bought all of my Top 10 pages for sale. Lisa will
be handling the eventual sale of my other stuff on this website,
but click the Moy link to get pages from the series. And Gary
Land still has a nice Fantastic Four cover by me.
Hope to see some of you in Minnesota. Expect much shorter
August 5, 2003
Getting some work done before the Chicago "Wizard World".
I wish they'd just call it a Comic-Con again.
July 15, 2003
Gamer cover just came out! Looks reasonably nice.
While I usually prefer to have creative control over the colors,
sometimes it's nice to just do a quick cover, no background,
and let someone else worry about the rest.
Though I like to think that, iffen I did it meself, John
Stewart would still be black. Oh well.
June 28, 2003
Whew. Been way too long since I've written anything!
The car is perfectly fine, but my wife Lisa has a broken
arm. She's actually dealing with it pretty well. She's only
missed a few days of work at the library,
and only then for doctor's appointments. I've started calling
her "chica macha".
I'm going on hiatus from The 49ers and starting on my issue
of Warren Ellis's
Frequency, issue 12. The capper. It's nice being last
'cuz I can change stuff, and I don't mess up anyone else's
continuity. Zero gets a new suit...
Though every issue has been wonderful, I really like the
issues by Jon J. Muth (#5) and Simon Bisley (#7). Muth created
stunning realism, while using a restrained Sumi-e style brush.
I'd love to draw like that. Bisley is the only artist to turn
Freeq into a fashion statement. Miranda Zero actually looks
cool in his issue.
Has it struck anyone else that this is a series about freelance
comics work? Miranda Zero is the writer, Aleph is a helpful
little editor, and the operatives are the art team. Pretty
creative and impressive, considering how boring most autobiographical
Somewhere along the way, I got to spend an afternoon with
and his friend Bill. It's always fun hanging out with someone
so smart and funny, especially when they take you to the best
steakhouse in the country and grab the tab! (Actually, Bill
did that, not Bill).
Bill is moving from New England to the Southwest, and has
been having adventures along the way. I expect him to turn
this into exciting story fodder. Fables just gets better and
better. Pick it up, now!!!
While I'm actually touching a keyboard, I'll try to respond
to all the email. I really try to answer all of it (eventually).
May 2, 2003
Things actually seem to be bustling right now. Except for
my car. That's dead and in the shop.
Talked to Alan again today. Alan just loves meeting people.
Except for American comics fans, which seem to scare him.
But meeting an East End crime lord or mysterious African priestesses,
that's no problem. Part of the reason he's so good at writing
people is that he meets so many, and he thinks they're so
interesting. Anyhoo, he's going to send me some more script,
and I finally asked him what The 49ers is actually about.
It's fun, it's big, I had no idea. And I don't want to tell
anyone, not even my best friends. Bwa ha ha ha!
The Captain America mini-series I'm doing covers for is now
going to become normal issues of the Cap monthly series. I
think they'll be issues 10 to 13.
Finally, I don't have a signing for Free Comics Day. I feel
like I didn't get asked out for the Prom or something. Lordy,
I'm a pathetic comix artisk.
April 25, 2003
Hey all. I just talked with Alan Moore on the phone today.
He's had the flu lately, so send out those good vibes and
prayers and such. He said it wasn't so bad, but he couldn't
string words together on his word processor for a while.
Keep in mind, he has a word processor, not a home computer.
Like many brilliant writers a bit older than me, he doesn't
like computers. Wildstorm has offered to buy him a fancy computer
and pay for his ISP connection, but Alan isn't interested.
I like that, frankly. Except that Alan can't email me his
scripts as .doc or .txt files. I really hate fax technology.
Anyhoo, he assured me that he'll finish his run on all the
ABC books before he takes his break from lycra S/M fetish
comics (my name for the violent superhero genre). I expected
as much from him, but it's nice to hear him say it.
And he confirmed he's going to destroy the ABC Universe.
I thought he might have meant something metaphorical when
I first heard of this plan. And so he did. But he also plans
to destroy the world. He noted that most comics universes
aren't really destroyed; they just run out of financing. Alan
wants to be the first writer to purposefully destroy a line's
Alan's been writing at a madman's pace for almost seven years
now. An artist who follows Alan's work closely says that Alan
runs low on cash, then does some very commercial work. When
he has enough cash and he gets bored with that, he does his
experimental and edgy work. His experimental stuff can turn
out to be commercially successful too (From Hell), of course.
We fans of "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"
will be pleased to know that he still wants to keep writing
LoEG projects after he stops writing ABC work. In truth, LoEG
isn't really a part of the ABC stuff. I think it's the best
action comic out today, so that makes me pretty damn happy.
When I told him he'd chosen an ideal time period for LoEG,
he said he feels free to set LoEG stories in any era. He could
have just as much fun setting the stories in fictional futures
instead of fictional pasts.
Also, Alan would be happy to let other writers or artists
keep on writing ABC projects. While the ABC Universe will
be well and truly killed off, stories set before the end are
still possible. I'd love to see what Zander would do with
a Top 10 story, and I'd love to draw it. (Short list of writers
I want to work with before I die: Zander
Finally, I'm dying to know what will bubble out of Alan's
shaggy head once he takes his superhero blinders off. Should
April 20, 2003
Happy Easter to all of you Christians and chocoholics out
there. Passover, for Jews and Christians. And I hope Zander
and Julie enjoyed Sakura Matsuri this year!
Looking back on my last post, I think about why most of us
don't buy comics on the advice of car salesmen: why the heck
should we? So for those of you out there who find my economic
intuitions suspect, that's a fine thing. It's what a healthy
democracy should be all about. Of course, I think I'm right.
But I would, wouldn't I? (Don't I sound like a fine liberal).
What I do know a little about is art. Especially art where
women in tights punch other people in lycra. So I was fascinated
to hear a lecture
by a neuroscientist about what makes art 'art'. If you
don't or can't listen to a big RealAudio file, it is available
in text form.
If you care about art, don't just read me commenting and blathering
on it: listen to the lecture and read the piece.
I'm an artist who's famous for the detail of his work. If
that kind of work gives you a head ache, odds are you're not
reading this right now. But realistic perspective, anatomy,
and the autistic patience to draw all the bricks in a wall
are not the marks of great art. It's the artistic judgement
to know which bricks to draw, or to know you don't have to
draw any bricks at all.
In that sense, I consider my work that of a great autist
rather than that of a great artist. But I do take pride in
the fact that I can throw so much junk into a panel and not
create a complete mess.
So who do I consider great? On my FAQ page, I list some general
purpose comics geniuses (genii?). But in the narrow field
of drawing, I have one favorite: John Paul Leon. If I could
draw like someone else, it would be him.
To my eyes, his work seems both effortless, beautiful, and
nearly photographic. I really wish I could pull stuff like
So imagine my surprise when I heard some people don't like
his work! Lots of folks, really. Alex Ross said that he heard
endless complaints about John's art. I don't get it. I think
John Paul is twice the artist and twice the realist I am.
He's only about 0.06% the autist, though. Listen
to the neuroscientist when he talks about why so many people
don't get Picasso. I think it applies to Leon too.
Finally, my favorite part of the lecture is when he talks
about talented autistics: "idiot savants". It turns
out that there's a part of the brain that specializes in aesthetic
work, and it can work even better if other parts of the brain
are damaged. "Idiot savants" may have massive damage
everywhere else, but that part of their brains tends to be
In fact, you can temporarily induce brain damage in a normal
person and improve their drawings. So take my financial advice
with a grain of salt.
I still think I'm right, though.
April 12, 2003
Hey all. Continuing work on The 49ers, and then I'll try
to do a quick cover for InQuest
magazine #100. It will be of a Heroclix "Atlas"
robot fighting against 'everyone', in homage to John Byrne's
Fantastic Four #243 cover.
Also going through the whole mortgage/buying home process,
ASAP. Some of you may think that Mr. Bush is doing a fine
job with the economy, but you'd be hard pressed to find many
who agree with you. (This includes economists
he's appointed). I'd like to lock in a nice historically
low interest rate before anything else happens.
The ironic thing for me is how this relates to the 1995 Oktane
series, by Gerry Jones and me. It's one of those 'post-apocalyptic'
genre pieces. But the apocalypse is economic: federal deficit
spending got so out of control that the USA collapsed. As
the real world 1990's progressed, I began to think that Oktane
wasn't relevant anymore. It seemed that the federal government
was able to restrain its spending.
So imagine my surprise when a Republican president and congress
decided deficits don't matter. Gotta get a hold of that loan
March 24, 2003
Welcome to the new Gene Ha website. My wife Lisa and bro'
finally got me off my ass and got me to work on this. So a
nod to both of them (especially Donn, for designing this site).
I'll keep this one up to date, unlike the last website (so
I'll no longer announce that I'm going to the 2001 San Diego
Con in 2002).
I'm still at work on The 49ers graphic novel, with
occasional breaks to do covers for Marvel. Sometime soon I'll
be getting the script for Global Frequency #12. I'll
be collaborating on these with my good friends Art and Ellen
Lyon. (He says his professional nom de guerre is "Jack
Ass"). She's an oil painter who'll handle coloring, and
he's a graphic designer who'll handle separations. Check out
her work at Gallery
North. Art's a graphic designer and a fellow comics geek.
I'm also doing the full art duties on an Iron Man
cover (issue 67) and the upcoming Captain America Lives
covers. Dave Gibbons is writing Cap Lives, so I'm a
little sad I won't get to see how he'd draw Cap. Oh well,
that means more work for Alberto Ponticelli and me.
On the personal front, Lisa and I are living in Chicago.
We're looking for a place with a backyard for our dogs, and
I suspect we'll be here for a while. This means I'll no longer
be drunken menace at the Chicago con; I'll have to drive home
sober, not stumble back to a hotel room.
Design? ID Miserable
Design? ID Miserable
Design? ID Miserable
Design? ID Miserable