What is Weapon Brown?

Jason Yungbluth is a workhorse of an independent comic artist who's likely best known for Deep Fried. The DF comic is a pastiche of styles written and illustrated by Yungbluth and a compilation of a few different strips (seriously, I've seen at least sever different and distinct styles come out of this guy). A standout among them is Weapon Brown. (I have nothing good to say about the rest of Deep Fried.) Despite the hyper-violence and sexual situations, Weapon Brown is the most approachable and sensible comic of the bunch.

I get the impression that Yungbluth had the idea for a post-apocalyptic, all-grown-up Peanuts story and toyed with it in Deep Fried before blowing the whole thing out into its own series in 2007/8. Weapon Brown features solid black and white artwork as well as a strong and consistent narrative that has grown beyond the Charlie Brown mythos and spilled deeply into all the other classic Sunday comics that used to run in the newspaper. When all of today's 40-somethings were young and impressionable, this stuff was back-hoe'd into our minds. The story works best when you've got all that information in the back of your head as you read along with the mech-armed killing machine Chuck and his faithful dog Snoop. They navigate a desolate wasteland chock-a-block with mutants, gangs, black markets, and all the other cliched madness that defined the early days of apocalyptic science fiction. Throughout it all, a fresh spin is given on the entire trope by a generous layer of warped comic-strip characters. Even minor secondary characters make an appearance either as targets for murder, henchmen, or background noise.

Chuck never disappoints with his snappy dialogue and penchant for violence. It's just the way I always expected poor, set upon Charlie Brown to turn out: full of hate. Weapon brown is a fun read with great art—Yungbluth captures the essence of these classic characters in an unimaginable and recognizable way. The comic currently exists as a compilation graphic novel and, so far, six issues of a continuous story arc and is available for purchase from the Deep Fried web site. You will not be disappoint if you were ever a comic-strip nerd.

Return from AnthoCon 2012

It has been a solid week since AnthoCon 2012, I traveled down with my friends Bracken and Chris—both AnthoCon veterans. It wasn't until later that I learned that 2012 was only the second 'Con and I allowed myself to be less impressed. (Shiv goes in, shive comes out, that's how Mad Dogs* roll!) Thankfully, New Hampshire isn't too far from Boston, so sitting with my hip jammed against Chris's in the back seat sounds worse than it really was. Besides, he was wedged between Bracken's son and me—the back seat immaturity levels were high. This is the price payed for spending two days up to our eyeballs in horror writers, their writings, publishers, and all related media. In other words: well motherfucking worth it. Of all things, I was able to sell a couple of copies of my comic strip compilation Lost In Transition as well as a few copies of Dreadworks Journal, our writing group's chap'zine of horrors.

"I can't say enough about the caliber of people I was privileged to meet."

The convention itself sprawled over three days, starting on Friday. We arrived Saturday morning and I'd already been jealous because both Chris and Bracken were going to be on panels. Lo! Later that day, I was invited to appear on a panel, Writing for Video games, Role Playing Games, Comics, and other Formats.  Sweet succor! As any nerd knows, there are few pleasures that exceed waxing pretentiously about subjects we've steeped ourselves in for at least as long as we've been able to read. Maybe next time I'll get a name card and advance notice. (Regardless, thanks to T.J. for the opportunity!) And as long as I'm on "getting stuff," here's some stuff I got:

This Only Happens In The Movies/She Makes Me Smile (chapbook, signed by) by Mandy DeGeit, The Howling (I, II, III) by Gary Brandner, WTF? (Pink Narcissus Press anthology) edited by Mambert & Racicot, The Black Death of Babylon by Edward J. McFadden, The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes (anthology signed by my friend Bracken MacLeod), Chiral Mad, Anthology of Psychological Horror edited by Michael Bailey, Shock Totem #3, Shroud #11, signed print of the cover painting by Jesse Young for The Wicked, an epic yet manageable hangover.

I can't say enough about the caliber of people I was privileged to meet. I hope to stay in touch with as many of them as possible and to see them again at other conventions, events, best-seller lists, and not at all in jail for drunk and disorderly. Ooh, random highlight: Ron Añejo Pampero Aniversario. It's a rum. Drink it.

Most importantly—professionally—I can honestly say that no less than four creative opportunities sprang out of AnthoCon '12 and into my lap. Proof positive that this is the right crowd to be around. I look forward to attending AnthoCon 2013 as well as attending as many other conferences as I can manage.

*Mad Dogs, by the way, is my writing group's hyperbolic name. We're all dedicated family men and rolling terror only when well away from our wives and children. More like 'Tame Dogs.'