Monday, August 1, 2011

That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore - Emily Rich

Emily Rich is a high school student, but before that, she is a writer. She has been writing her thoughts down since she could pick up a pen, and she has been telling stories long before that. In 2010, she started creating comics with her friend Jenn Fuguet. They plan to work together for many years as Dead Static Comics. She's honored to be featured in Unite and Take Over, with "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore," alongside artists and writers she greatly admires.

Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before - Sneak Preview

We want to give you updates of the how the stories are progressing. Today's update is art courtesy of Christian Vilaire, artist for Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before. I don't think we need to explain, but to know what he is doing, you'll need to wait until the book comes out.

Kickstarter Press - Bleeding Cool

Rich Johnston, of the comic book news and gossip website Bleeding Cool has posted an article on Unite and Take Over.

Shawn Demumbrum (whose surname certainly sounds like Morrissey's singing on occasion) has assembled fifteen creative teams for the project and will release the finished collection at the Tucson Comic Con in November.

If his Kickstarter plans plan, that is.

Shawn is looking to raise $3000 and is a tenth of the way there. Why not give this charming man a hand?

Read the whole article here.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Kickstarter Exclusive Cover - Inspiration

I've sent Michael Stewart the reference photos of the 12 Smiths tribute bands who have agreed to take part in the exclusive cover. The tribute band Via Morrissey has agreed to be part of it. I've asked Michael to use the cover of Justice League #1 as a style reference for the cover making it a Tribute cover of a Tribute Anthology using Tribute band lead singers. Subtract the superhero costumes and attitude and add Morrissey's sense of style and flair. Kevin Maguire is one of my favorite artists and Justice League in the 90s was a great example of how superheroes can be serious and fun at the same time. Kevin is most know for the realistic expressions he applies to his characters.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kickstarter Campaign Goes Live

Our Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for printing is officially live. Check out the Kickstarter page to find out all the great rewards for pledging.

In the meantime, here is our Kickstarter video.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kickstarter Exclusive Cover - Michael Stewart

Michael Stewart is a comic book illustrator who was born and raised in Arizona. Some of his recent published work includes: ImagineFX magazine, painted illustrations for the "Existenz" strategy game in Europe, art assistant on Top Cow's the Magdalena, IIlustrations for fashion designers, and penciling a few indie comic titles. Look for an upcoming illustration by him for Richard Starkings Elephantmen comic book. Check out his blog Michael will be the artist for the Unite and Take Over Kickstarter Exclusive cover.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kickstarter Exclusive Cover - Still ill

Several Smiths tribute bands have lent their likeness to a very special exclusive cover for our Kickstarter campaign. We are spotlighting each of the bands. Today's band is Still ill.

Still ill is San Diego's tribute to the music of Morrissey and the Smiths. They are an energetic group of established local musicians who also happen to be huge fans. Since 2006, the band has played for over thousands of people and has been playing show all over San Diego, Hollywood, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas at a variety of venues including the House of Blues, 4th and B and the Belly Up Tavern. Throughout their career, Still ill has played with musical celebrities such as the original bass player of the Smiths, Andy Rourke, and Dave Keuning of the Killers in Las Vegas. Check out the band at

Kickstarter Exclusive Cover - The Handsome Devilz

Several Smiths tribute bands have lent their likeness to a very special exclusive cover for our Kickstarter campaign. We are spotlighting each of the bands. Today's band is The Handsome Devilz.

Tired of not being able to go anywhere in the Chicago are to enjoy the beautiful sounds of the Smiths and Morrissey, vocalist Joseph De La Mora and his band Terraforma decided to give it a shot in 2008. Originally just for an ICON show with other bands paying tribute to the likes of Depeche Mode, the Cure and Joy Division. The chance to emulate their idols was just too addictive to do just once. Thus, The Handsome Devilz were born to bring life to the live sound that once was the Smiths and still is Morrissey. Striving as time passes to resurrect as many songs as possible from their catalogs for all to enjoy. Check out eh band at

Shoplifters of the World Unite - Shawn Demumbrum

The origin of SpazDog Press began as a way for writer/publisher Shawn Demumbrum to get his kids involved in Free Comic Book Day. Their interest waned, but he continued to write 8 page mini-comic scripts. He showed them to some of his local artist friends who liked the writing, but not the subject matter. So he started collaborating with those artists who had great ideas, but needed someone to write for them. The first comic to come out of that collaboration is Old Man Clem. Since then he has collaborated on Sonic Youth, Shadow Wolf and the Purge. In addition, he has written stories for the Fiction House Mafia's Robot (heart) Kiaju and Ocho Comics' Ocho Bootleg anthologies. "Shoplifters of the World Unite" and Unite and Take Over are the next steps in introducing the local creators to the comic book market.

Girlfriend in a Coma - JP Manz

JP Manz is known for 3 things. Number 1 is being born and the most part raised in Ohio. Number 2 is staging his own personal JP Manz reboot by moving to Tempe, AZ. Number 3 is making fantastic, humorous mini comics. He is creator of Tiny Death, a dark humor comic that combines JP's creative influences, Jhonen Vasquez and Evan Dorkin. His influences show up in his version of "Girlfriend in a Coma".

Handsome Devil - Shelby Robertson

Shelby Robertson is an American comic book illustrator and writer. Shelby's art career started at the age of 15 when he was hired by British Aeronautics Magazine as lead artist and concept illustrator for monthly publication. He was hired by Rob Liefeld in 1996 for his first professional comic book illustration job and he immediately became one of the premiere bullpen utility artists. Shelby's first pin-up proposal artwork became his first published piece at Image Comics and since then he has worked steadily for various film, music, and comic book companies. Shelby creates and self publishes comics through American Dischord on a semi-regular basis. When asked to contribute to Unite and Take Over, Shelby replied, "the Smiths are embedded in my High School RNA so yeah man, I'm down". So, "Handsome Devil" it is then.

That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore - Jenn Fuguet

Jenn Fuguet makes up one half of the comic team for “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”, along with writer Emily Rich. They began working on comics together in 2010, and have many plans for the future with Dead Static Comics. She is an amateur artist in high school, and has much to learn about the world of art and comics. She is beyond honored (and a little frightened!) to be included alongside such great Arizona artists in Unite and Take Over.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kickstarter Exclusive Cover - The Smiths United

Several Smiths tribute bands have lent their likeness to a very special exclusive cover for our Kickstarter campaign. We are spotlighting each of the bands. Today's band is The Smiths United:

The Smiths United is a tribute band from the Detroit, Michigan area formed of 5 loyal fans. Christopher George (Morrissey), Jonny Epstein (Marr), Brandon Fireman (Rourke), Gordon Elwart (Joyce), and Paul Epstein (keyboard). The five of them are dedicated to do their best to re-produce the early alternative sounds of The Smiths and Morrisey's solo career. Check out their Facebook Page The Smiths United.

Kickstarter Exclusive Cover - The Smyths

Several Smiths tribute bands have lent their likeness to a very special exclusive cover for our Kickstarter campaign. We are spotlighting each of the bands. Today's band is The Smyths:

Formed in 2003, during their first 18 months The Smyths built their reputation by playing to sell-out crowds in many venues across London, including regular appearances at "Quarry", the celebrated club night for Smiths & Morrissey music. 2005 saw The Smyths widen their horizons and play to passionate audiences across the UK & beyond, including a successful tour of the Netherlands. They were invited to headline the world's first Smiths conference which saw hundreds of Smiths fans from around the world flock to Manchester for a weekend of Smiths activities. Check out the band at

Pretty Girls Make Graves - Justin Miller

Drawing since '92, Justin Miller has shed his meager beginnings and delved headfirst into the world of comics, debuting in Fiction House Mafia's Robot (Heart) Kaiju and contributing to Alien (Heart) Bigfoot. He works his trade with his on-going webcomic, Dark Dank and Dreary and various illustration jobs. Residing in Phoenix, AZ Justin and his wife, Mandy, live with 2 world-domineering cats and 1 very lazy but neurotic dog. "Pretty Girls Make Graves" is his artistic contribution to Unite and Take Over.

Kickstarter Exclusive Cover - Strangeways

Several Smiths tribute bands have lent their likeness to a very special exclusive cover for our Kickstarter campaign. We are spotlighting each of the bands. Today's band is Strangeways:

Strangeways was formed on the eve of Morrissey’s Hollywood Palladium show on October 13, 2007. Singer Ric and guitarist Ralph Paredes (Dead to the World, Life of Misery, Moondoggs) had been friends for over 15 years but had never played music together until that night. Ralph says “My wife Kathy and Ric use to work at Tower Records, so I’ve known him for years, but I never heard him sing until that night; his voice was amazing; I knew I wanted to work with him on some project musically”. The two quickly got together again and within hours had about eight Smiths & Morrissey songs down. The guys decided to pick a name for their band and decided on STRANGEWAYS after The Smiths final studio album “Strangeways, Here We Come”. Check them out at

What Difference Does It Make? - Jeff Pina

Jeff Pina moved to Phoenix 11 years ago from La Quinta, CA. In late 2006, he launched his first book, Dr. Oblivion’s Guide to Teenage Dating and has been making new issues through his self-publishing label Sideways 8 Studios. He’s also added a newer series Imaginatives to his list and works on his web comics Monkey In Space and Drunk Robot. A member of the local comic group, Fiction House Mafia, he’s also been project coordinator for the “Heart” series anthologies which focuses on showcasing local talent (of which the first one, Pirate (heart) Ninja, debuted at Phoenix Comic Con in 2010). He has also done artwork for Hasbro Games and sketch cards for 5finity, as well as freelance work in the local Phoenix market. He’s recently been published in Voltron: United and Drawn. In between sleep and rerun episodes of Star Trek, he finishes illustrating pages of his contribution to Unite and Take Over, "What Difference Does It Make?".

Kickstarter Exclusive Cover - The Sons & Heirs

Several Smiths tribute bands have lent their likeness to a very special exclusive cover for our Kickstarter campaign. We are spotlighting each of the bands. Today's band is The Son & Heirs:

The music of Morrissey, Johnny Marr & co. lives on with The Sons & Heirs, a NYC-based tribute band that brings the experience of seeing The Smiths live to the stage. Singer Ronnissey and guitarist Ravi Marr recreate the songs & stage performance of The Smiths with stunning authenticity & attention to detail, right down to the last gladioli left on stage when the band is through. The Sons & Heirs have been performing at some of the best venues on the east coast since 2006 and have shared the stage with the likes of Smiths bassist Andy Rourke and Morrissey drummer Spencer Cobrin. Check them out at

Shoplifters of the World Unite - Matt Goodall

Being a brand new home owner and father to a newborn wasn't enough to Matt, so he decided to complicate things further by signing up to create and draw his own comic book about parenthood. Sonic Youth is about parents who find out their child's annoying screams aren't just annoying, they can be destructive. He has worked on the webcomic Buddah Monkey. He won't be monkeying around as artist on "Shoplifters of the World Unite". Check out his deviantart page at

Death At One's Elbow - Glen Curren

Glen Curren kicked off his mid-life crisis by jumping into the world of funny books in 2010 with rum-fueled wit and the libido and self-loathing of a clinically depressed teenager with a bloodstream full of Ecstasy. Besides writing stories for the Ocho Bootleg and the much sought-after Robot Kaiju, Glen cranks out the occasional blog, shooting a wad of brain juice in the face of the interwebs at He is also a professional editor, working on everything from fitness books to comics including Super Vamp by the internationally published Madame M. Glen’s main focus has been on his own creation, Major Mediocrity – an ongoing webseries riddled with innuendos about a less-than-super-hero dealing (or not) with the everyday crap that faces defenders of justice and the rest of us. There is no reason not to expect more of the same in his interpretation of “Death At One’s Elbow”.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pretty Girls Make Graves - Thomas Healy

What can we say about Thomas Healy that hasn't been already said or scrawled on bathroom stalls? He has two web shows I Have Issues TV and Fistful of Geek . People seem to think they are really cool. He writes comics. He has an irrational fear of Honey Badgers. He enjoys short non-sequitur sentences. He has a penchant for collecting "hobbies" as a hobby. He manages a comic shop and by now you have stopped reading this. But if you haven't, you should know that he publishes comics through his imprint Fiction House Mafia which publishes the critically acclaimed "Heart Series" (Pirate Heart Ninja, Robot Heart Kaiju, and Alien Heart Bigfoot). That hasn't stopped him, however, from writing "Pretty Girls Make Graves" for Unite and Take Over.

What Difference Does It Make? - Michael Kessler

Michael Kessler is the writer and producer of Sonora, a superhero story set here in the Phoenix area. Originally from Evansville, Indiana, Mike moved to Arizona in 1999 when the U.S. Air Force deployed him to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. After the service, Mike moved to the Phoenix area and began developing Sonora. With superhero stories still coursing through his veins and prompting from his wife, he set about writing "What Difference Does It Make?" for Unite and Take Over. Check out his latest work at Bleating Goat Comics.

Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before - Christian Vilaire

A native of New York City, Christian traveled widely with his father absorbing the difference of this Earth, from North and Central America to Europe to Japan. Drawing and illustrating all along the way, he settled in Phoenix, Arizona, where he studied Computer Illustrations. Using different techniques, he has created his own unique style. Christian's paintings and illustrations evoke the essence of his favorite subjects, horror and darkness, but offset at times by the beauty of this Earth and the inner spirit of life shown through his characters. The colors of his art work are striking, vivid and inspire imagination. No matter what Christian illustrates, his love of color and detail of character are apparent. Getting lost in his imagination, the making of the illustration gives him the most satisfaction. You can feel the vibration of the characters that he draws. His imagination becomes our reality. The illustrations are delivered as movement and are complete in and of itself. It brings us closer to the familiar rhythm of our dreams, nightmares and imagination. In "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before", Christian illustrates himself and a group of his friends, as well as possibly the world's most famous vegetarian. In addition to his work on Unite and Take Over, he has self published Sew What: I was a Teenage Frankenstein and Astrophobia: The Adventures of Space Ramirez. Please join us to experience the excitement of Christian's art culture as they are presented at

Tucson Comic-con Cover - Jason Pedersen

Jason Pedersen's art career began with a toothpick at 4 months of age, but he really didn't know that he wanted to create art for a living until he started collecting Frank Frazetta bubble gum cards at age 13. In the time between now and then, he has worked as a sculptor building master sculpts for model kits, a concept and storyboard artist for a movie studio, a technical illustrator for various publications on prehistory, and a Tattoo artist. The Tucson Comic-con Cover of Unite and Take Over is Jason's first published comic book art, but he already has future comic book jobs lined up. Check out his other work at

Cemetry Gates - Libbi Rich

Libbi Rich describes herself as a middle-aged punk princess, pop culture hound, Geekgirl, liberal activist, general shit-stirrer, reader of nanopunk/cyberpunk/comics/anything-I-can-get-my-hands-on, wife and mom. She is a former band manager/promo Ninja, ad executive, street team lead and juvenile public defense attorney (in training). She holds degrees in Journalism and Creative Writing from San Jose State University and a J.D. from U.C. Hastings College of Law. After taking a 15 year break to raise her kids, she has resurrected her Photojournalism career focusing on music, comics, Geek culture, social issues and anything else that stokes her passion. Words and pics can be found at Doom Magazine and Mamarox Images. An award winning author, Libbi was coaxed out of the shadows in 2010 by Eric M. Esquivel to write "Lyssa and the Terribly Inappropriate Outfit" in his 'zine, Normal. Soon after, she set her sights on the comic book world. Now that she's kicked that door in, she's not walking back through it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before - Henry Barajas

Henry Barajas is a writer with Evil Robo Productions, whose works include The Golden Age Daredevil and the critically acclaimed El Loco. He has also done promotional work for the Phoenix Comicon 2010 and Tuscon Comic-con. He is the host of the Retcon podcast. His god-like brown complexion leaves both men and women gooey...literally. His "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" story will change the way that you look at meat. Find him at

Death At One's Elbow - Madame M

Madame M has been making the world considerably more creepy, cutesy and curvaceous since 2000 with the release of her award winning book, Creepy Little Bedtime Stories. The frightening and frolicking continued throughout the decade with its sequel Eerie Little Bedtime Stories, as well as a casket full of other peculiar publications such as Trauma Queens/Trauma Kings and Tales of the Truly Grotesque. In 2009, Madame M cast a spell on the comic world with the lovable super hero vampire, Super Vamp. She continues to concoct a cavalcade of kooky comic characters with the magnificent macabre musings contained within Madame M Presents. Her captivating and corpsodic art is contained within the story of "Death At One's Elbow".

Original Cover Art

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rubber Ring - Dennmann

Dennmann is the entire creative team for his 4 page interpretation of "Rubber Ring". He has been in the Arizona scene since the mid-90s publishing mini comics through his company Skit Productions. He took a short break from comics to get married, have children and earn a couple of college degrees, but is back and busy at the drawing board. In a little over 3 years, he has released over 10 mini comics, 2 different webcomic series and a couple of trad paperbacks. When he's not at his day job, he is hard at work creating comics for your enjoyment. His creations include GET THAT CHICKEN, Lollygaggin' Adventures and CHEESE starring Harold. His latest webcomic series entitled Jenny Spookawski - Ghost Girl can be read at
For more information on Dennmann check out

Tucson Comic-con Unite and Take Over Cover

Current Set List

This is the current set list in chronological order of signing onto the project:

Death at One's Elbow - Glen Curren and Madame M
Shoplifters of the World Unite - Shawn Demumbrum and Matt Goodall
Rubber Ring - Dennmann
Girlfriend in a Coma - JP Manzanares
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before - Henry Barajas and Christian Vilaire
Cemetry Gates - Libbi Rich and Mickey Chaney
That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore - Emily Rich and Jenn Fuguet
How Soon is Now? - Foo! and Sam Lagreen
Pretty Girls Make Graves - Thomas Healy and Justin Miller
Panic - Matthew Burke and Joshua Green
What Difference Does It Make? - Michael Kessler and Jeff Pina

Promo Display for Phoenix Comicon 2011

How it Began

I have lots of friends in the Arizona Indy Comic Book scene. I wanted to work with them on a project, but it had to be really cool in order for them to stop working on their own projects long enough to work with me.

My friends, Thomas Healy and Jeff Pina, had been putting out some anthologies they call the "Heart" books. The first one was Pirate Heart Ninja was a collection of short comic stories that involved the unlikely romantic pairing of a Pirate and a Ninja. I contributed a story to their second book, Robot Heart Kaiju. Their third book, Alien Heart Bigfoot, just came out in time for Phoenix Comicon 2011. For my Robot Heart Kaiju story, I actually wrote 3 stories. One story when I thought the book was Robot vs. Kaiju. One story before I read Pirate Heart Ninja and found a story with a similar premise. The final story finally got the premise right. It was a lot of work to pair up such diverse characters.

I thought the concept of the a local comic creator anthology was great and wanted my friends to join me in creating some stories for the upcoming Tucson Comic-con ( I knew at least four people who were Smiths fans who would work on a project if it was somehow related to the Smiths. I pitched the idea of creating an anthology of stories inspired by the songs with a different creative team attached to a different Smiths song. I told a few people and suddenly I had a set list of 16 creative teams that wanted to work on the anthology. We created a quick promo poster for Phoenix Comicon which got great reception. Now, we are working on a Kickstarter campaign to pay for the printing costs.