Does this make me a nerd?!

Happy New Comic Day!!
So, last week was a bit of a light week for releases and it gave me a chance to finally check out (on @4thworldZombie‘s recommendation) Jeff Lemire’s The Nobody.

DO IT! Seriously! It’ll take you no time at all to read and it is a beautiful little book about an invisible man who can’t help but get noticed by the population of the small fishing town of Large Mouth. Upon completion, it made me think of the Twilight Zone episode, “The Monsters Are Due on Maple”. I really loved it! I want to buy an original page from it eventually for sure!

Notable from last week (not in my top 5):

Dungeons & Dragons?! Seriously?! Me?! Does this make me a nerd?!
When I was a little kid, I went to my local comic shop in Virginia called, Richmond Comix where there were normally kids set up at tables playing some game with a 100 sided dice (forgive me if that’s wrong). These kids were incredibly unwelcoming to newcomers. I get that now. It was their thing. It was their thing which people probably gave them tons of shit about already anyway. Of course they would be unwelcoming, but at the time, I was pissed. I guess it kind of stuck with me, because since then, I’ve done everything in my power to avoid Dungeons & Dragons… That shit is for nerds (how many people did I just piss off?).
Anyway, IDW is putting out a crossover events right now called Infestation 2, which I am only reading because eventually the Ninja Turtles are getting involved. SHIT! I’m going to have to read Dungeons & Dragons comics?! Bullshit!
Turns out, I fucking loved the first issue! It was like Sherlock Holmes in a fantasy setting! It was tons of fun, and I’m actually really looking forward to checking out #2 this week! NERD.

BREAKING NEWS!! Nerdtown’s population is growing!!!!!!!
Tons of new stuff is happening here in Nerdtown! Including some new writers for this blog! I’m teaming with my favorite comic shop in the world, 4th World Comics (Smithtown, NY) in an attempt to bring you guys more. At some point over this next month, you’ll start to see articles, news, reviews or whatever the fuck the fine people over at 4th World feel like saying! There has even been some talk of a weekly podcast… SHHH! Don’t tell anyone!

Let’s do the pulls!!!
It was all I could do to not put American Vampire in my Top 5 this week. It’s just so damn good I can’t stand it! But I promised I would be trying to switch it up a bit and stop picking all the same books every week.
Here we go, 2/22/12 Top 5 Pulls:

Prophet #22

Image: Brandon Graham and Simon Roy

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #7

IDW Publishing: Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz and Dan Duncan

Chew #24

Image: John Layman and Rob Guillory

No Place Like Home #1

Image: Angelo Tirotto and Richard Jordan

All Star Western #6

DC Comics: Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Moritat

One more quick thing before I go.

This Good Robot played the first round of The Bamboozle Break Contest this past Sunday and we had a blast!! Made tons of new friends and saw some great new bands! Thank you guys so much for coming out to support us! Thanks to you, This Good Robot has advanced to the next round!
Let’s do it again!!! We could really use your help. YES! YOU!! Go sign up on Friend us and talk about us. You have no idea how much just that alone will help! Once we have more info on the next round, we will be sure to pass it on! We can’t do this without you. I’m not just talking about the contest, I’m talking about the band in general… We can’t do it without you… It wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. Be a part of what happens when This Good Robot takes over the planet.

My Original Comic Art Gallery: Now I’m just showing off…




Here’s the mail! It never fails! It makes me want to wag my tail! When it comes I wanna wail MAAAAAIIIIIIILLLLLL!!!! Ok I’m done! Sorry about that, I’m just excited!
There is almost nothing better than getting a new page in the mail. This came this weekend! It’s the original art for Preacher issue #3, page 1.



This issue came out in June 1995 which isn’t all that long ago, and yet it’s amazing how different the process was. All of the dialog bubbles were added afterwards and the copyright is taped to the bottom. These are all things that now would take place on a computer. I think of all the modern comic pages i own, maybe 3 of them have the dialog on the original art. Seeing the page this way in person is like getting a peak behind the curtain, it’s really an extraordinary thing seeing every pen stroke and exactly what goes into the whole production of just one page. I love all the tiny imperfections that tell you a human being created this beautiful thing.

20111211-112954.jpg There is one dialog bubble that he must have changed the words or he maybe messed up on the first time. You can see an “A” and a “S” covered up by new dialog. I wish I could see what’s under it, I tried holding a light up and looking through the back, but again, all I can make out is an “A” and a “S”. oh well, guess we’ll never know and I’m sure it’s covered for good reasons and not nearly as interesting as I think it is.

My other favorite thing about this page is that I’ve made a new friend in the process. I purchased the page from a guy named Claudio on Comic Art Fans. Claudio was kind enough to let me pay off the page over… Well… however the fuck long it would take. He was very patient and we ended up going back and forth through emails for the last 4 months or so. Now here I am with my page and Claudio with his money and we’re still geeking out about comics and art and whatever else.
Basically, I just love the entire comic community. It’s a place where i feel like i belong. I like that the Internet makes it possible for us to find other people who are just like us and make these connections. This page is now a reminder of all of that and why I’m a part of it.

This is the second Preacher page I’ve added to my collection. In September, I picked up page 10 from the very first issue. I still need to get something with the three main characters, but for now, this is one of my most prized possessions, though I still don’t quite own it outright, but one day American Express, one day, it will be mine!!








I get emails every once and a while about when I’m going to start putting out comic books of my own. Here’s the answer:

I want to introduce to two incredibly talented friends of mine, Zackary Maers and Terence Fischette. Zack, Terence and I started meeting together to work on a brand new project about a week ago and I’m astounded by the progress we’ve made in just 7 days. Zack is an amazing artist and Terence is co-writing with me.
Having never gotten too far into the process of creating a comic book before, I thought it might be fun to document some of the progress here without giving away anything about the story. I can tell you, we plan on releasing several short stories to start before attacking some longer on-going ideas we are throwing around. I can also tell you that i have never had this much fun doing anything in my life. Too excited to keep this shit to myself, here’s some behind the scenes stuff. Enjoy!

Here we have three character design sketches by Zack for the first short story we are working on:




As you can see, Zack is ok at this whole drawing thing, but if you want to see some real raw talent, check out this badass spaceship I drew during a storyboarding session:


and also some totally out of this world storyboard sketches by Terence…

you know what? Maybe we don’t need Zack after all… (totally kidding!) I’m so lucky to get the chance to surround myself and work with such talented people who love comics just as much as I do. I really hope they are enjoying the creative process as much as I am. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we as a team are capable of.

So there you have it… this is where it starts. Keep checking back here and my twitter for updates!

One more thing. I want to leave you with a personal note: I can give you a million and a half excuses for why I’m yet to put out a comic book of my own. I spent years coming up with stories and ideas I would never actually write or follow through on. I would blame my shitty job or whatever other bullshit life throws at all us human beings for my lack of progress. “If only I had more time for myself!” “If only I had an artist!” “If only I could blah blah blah poor me blah blah fucking blah…” I want whoever is reading this to know that I was wrong to think this way and I’ve been wasting time. I apologize to all of you and to myself for being such a shithead.
You are the only thing holding yourself back in life. If you want to do something, to quote Nike, “JUST FUCKING DO IT!” (Nike was only allowed to put the “fucking” in on international ads). all joking aside, life is far too short to be miserable. Manage your time and do what you love. It’s also extremely important that you not be so hard on yourself all the time. Little steps go a long way. It’s never too late to learn new things. You have the ability to be in control of your own destiny. You are capable of being incredible… be incredible! Just fucking do it… seriously.

Welcome to Nerdtown, USA… I live here. allow me to introduce myself…

My name is Michael Ragosta, I’m 25 years old and I have a serious addiction to comic books. At a very young age my grandfather got me watching the Twilight Zone marathon with him on new year’s eve and even younger than that I was watching Superman, Batman and Ninja Turtles cartoons and movies. Things started getting serious when my sister Gina took me to my first comic shop, Richmond Comics in Richmond, Virginia when I was 11 years old. Gina was reading things by Neil Gaiman and Garth Ennis then, names I wouldn’t discover until my teens. That day i picked out 3 comics:

Star Wars: X-wing Rogue Sqadron #17

Superman Adventures #1

Superman/Madman Hullabaloo #1

I read all three over and over and over again and remember almost every page. It was Hullabaloo that had the strongest effect on me. Mike Allred’s art leapt out at me from across the store. I remember studying the cover for the first time. There he was. This character dressed all in white I’d never seen before. He stood next to the all familiar Superman, both in their action poses. Madman, also known as Frank Einstein, wearing a bold red lightning bolt across his chest and a small black one on his forehead below hair that was always waving in the wind (even if no other characters hair was moving at all). He had black rings around pupil-less white eyes and clutched his weapon of choice, a yo-yo, ready for anything. I wanted to be him, I wanted to act like him; look like him. He was constantly looking for the meaning in everything, and so was I. He was thoughtful and kind of ridiculous. Always hanging around mutant street beatniks turned superheroes, aliens and robots, these were my kind of people! He has a beautiful girlfriend who doesn’t care that he was recently dead and brought back to life by some mad scientists (get it? Frank Einstein.) and he can’t remember anything about his life other than that he might actually have been a murderer… seriously! It was just so much fun, and I felt like I could relate to every word Mike Allred had written. Of course, I still own the very same copy and even at 11 years old I knew to board and bag them and was immediately anal about the condition. I loved the way they looked, glossy, new and exciting in their plastic which made them look so important. I remember that year for my birthday, my mom tracked down everything Mike Allred had ever written and just knowing that this was it for me. Comics were to be a constant thing in my life for as many more birthdays I’m able to have. Along with the comics, I started collecting toys, statues, art prints and whatever else i could get my hands on. My parents are constantly begging me to go and pack everything up that’s still on display in my old room at their house. sorry! here are some old pictures of my room i found on my phone:






A few years ago, at Wizard’s Big Apple Con i found this just sitting on a table all alone. The original Mike Allred cover art for Grafik Muzik #4 (one of his first comics)

A very nice old man sitting at the table was pretty much completely deaf and the whole transaction happened on paper (me and this man writing notes back and forth to eachother.) Before i walked away from the table the man said, “I got this from him, now i’m giving it to you.” it was the first piece of original art I’ve ever bought, and just like that, Mike Allred changed my life for the second time. My comic book addiction has gotten a bit more expensive, thanks Mike! i’m still buying new comics to read every week, but i’ve pretty much stopped buying toys and statues in order to devote all of this non-existent extra cash i’m pretending to have an abundance of on original comic art. You can see my ORIGINAL COMIC ART GALLERY HERE. I’m a big Vertigo/DC comics and independant fan, I think image is regularly putting out great new titles and miniseries. I really wish Gabriel Rodriguez would sell me every last one of his Locke & Key pages. always picking up new things to read and happy to take reading suggestions! I love geeking out with fellow comic nerds, feel free to write just to talk comics. I read pretty much anything by: Brian K. Vaughan, Mike Allred, Scott Snyder, Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Joe Hill, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Eric Powell, Robert Kirkman, Josh Fialkov, along with tons of random titles, you like comics? I like comics! let’s hang out about it! If you know nothing about comics, but think you might be interested in checking something out, let me know! I’ll try to steer you in the right direction.
Other than comics, I’m also in a Science Fiction band called This Good Robot

Most of my songs are either about comics I’m reading or writing, or transcending space and time. Check it out: LONG LIVE THIS GOOD ROBOT and be sure to follow me on Twitter: @ThisGoodIdiot