Le Garde Republicain

I just got this in the mail.


While in France I drew a picture of the superhero Le Garde Republicain (Guardian of the Republic) created by Delcourt publisher Thierry Mornet under the psuedonym Terry Stillborn. LGR is headquartered in Paris (that’s Notre Dame in the background). Le Garde is like Captain America if the “A” stood for France.

I did the pencils and inks, Reed Man did the colors. In the center of the book is a fold-out poster of the image.


Process: Godland Pages 62 and 63

Here’s two more pages of the Godland Finale. The biggest project I’ve ever worked on is that much closer to completion.

Here are the stages of page 62. First the rough:



Then the pencil:



Then the inks:



Here are the stages of Page 63:





Five more pages to go. I’m curious what it will feel like after I draw the last line of the last page.

If you’re interested in purchasing the original art for either of these pages e-mail: art [at] tomscioli [dot] com

Godland Finale Arrives in November

The final issue of Godland has one of my favorite things, the future’s future. Looking back, I would’ve preferred to start the series in an unimaginably distant future, rather than end it there, but it was a nice end point to build towards. Maybe next time.


It’s been my education in color comics. Prior to Godland I knew NOTHING about the comics business. Now I know SOMETHING. I used Godland as a laboratory where I could experiment. It’s not for me to say how successful any of these experiments were, but I came out of the experience the indestructible cockroach of a cartoonist I am today.

Had Godland been more successful, I would have happily worked on it until my dying day. Its difficulty finding traction in the market forced me to innovate and get out of my comfort zone. I mourn the loss of the Godland-that-might-have-been, but a successful Godland would’ve meant no American Barbarian, no Final Frontier, no Satan’s Soldier, no Mystery Object. I love Godland and I hate it. I was in my 20’s when it started, now I’m not. I can’t help feeling it stole those years away from me.

“Life is at best bittersweet.” Darkseid, Mister Miracle #18.

Godland #36 & 37 are our Hunger Dogs, our Mister Miracle #18, our Silver Star #6. I feel genuinely privileged that we were able to end the comic properly, something very few series get to do.

In preparation for the writing of the two-part finale, I read the series from the beginning. It’s a relic of the early 2000’s, but its mix of old and new has aged surprisingly well. Not being part of any movement of the moment definitely helped. For as under the radar as we were, it sure seems like Godland gets imitated a lot. There’s a proliferation of comics now that have a wisecracking floating skull in a jar character, and Image publishes half of them. I don’t know if we can take credit for it, but the Marvel and DC publishing lines have moved a lot closer to Godland’s cosmic whimsy.


“Experimenters take risks–even with humor, Mokkari” Simyan, Jimmy Olsen #146

With Godland I learned that you can be funny and still be serious. For as bloated and excessive a prog rock comic Godland is, I learned how to tell a story economically from it. We cover a lot of ground in those 37 issues. I had to draw 7 different versions of the future, which is the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced in comics. I didn’t know I had that many in me. Most cartoonists only have one or two in them.

I learned that there’s more to life than Jack Kirby. Joe brought his influences to the project and I sought them out to see for myself. Cosmic jokesters like Jim Starlin, Steves gerber and Engelhart, among others. These creators have since become favorites of mine.

Most of all, I learned how to collaborate. I couldn’t ask for a better creative partner than Joe Casey. What we created together is very special to me. I’m eternally grateful to the people who supported us and our book.

When we started it we didn’t know if it would last 5 issues or 500. I had this fantasy of working on it forever, at least a lot longer than we have. 37 issues is a lot of comics. I wish Kirby could’ve done 30 issues of New Gods. I definitely think about what might have been, if things really took off in a huge way, but I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. 37 issues is nothing to sneeze at. That’s a lot of imagination, hard work and sacrifice that we’ve poured into it. I’m not too sad about leaving the Archers behind, because Joe Casey and I own it, so if I ever get the itch to do another Godland story, I can.

The GØDLAND FINALE will be in stores on November 27 and can be pre-ordered in the September issue of Previews.

Godland and the Barry Windsor-Smith Moment

I wrote an article for Comics Alliance where I talk about the effect that color has on the work of Barry Windsor-Smith.


It got me thinking about issue #22 of Godland, which was my “Barry Windsor-Smith” issue. At that point in the comic, it hadn’t been profitable since issue #16. With issue 16, in order to boost declining sales, we made a special 60 cent issue as a jumping on point for new readers. Our circulation went up, but not nearly enough to justify the financial hit we would take from selling a comic below cost. I’d hoped the stunt would double our readership, but it didn’t and dug a hole that the book still hasn’t climbed out of and with only one more issue to go, probably never will.


I was desperately looking for ways to improve sales of the comic. I thought, perhaps the thing holding it back is what I’d heard multiple times: “don’t draw like Kirby.” People within the Image organization suggested shaking up the art on the book. That fit with my own thoughts on the series’ difficulty finding an audience at that point. I decided to try other drawing approaches to create a different visual identity for the book. In issue #19 I tried a new style. I wanted it to look Pop Art, so that it would still be consistent with the other issues, but not specifically like Kirby’s brand of Pop Art. I decided to make the interior lines as thin as possible and create a thick holding line around the figures. It was different. It wasn’t as much fun as drawing like Kirby.


I began drawing issue #20 the same way, but by then I’d become tired of the new approach. It didn’t feel natural, the thin/thick approach was too much of a gimmick. The powers that be at Image didn’t like it either. I scrapped the pages I’d drawn for #20 and came up with a new plan. I really had two puzzles to solve. The first puzzle was to give the book a visual identity that wasn’t so dependent on the reader’s feelings about Jack Kirby. The second puzzle was how to keep myself interested enough to keep drawing. At this point Godland had lost its luster for me. Bill Crabtree, the original colorist left the book. Richard Starkings moved on. Image increasingly expressed dissatisfaction with the book. It felt like Camelot was breaking up. It wasn’t the fun experience it had been for the first year or so.

To keep myself interested I decided I’d try getting into the spirit of some of my other favorite artists, one issue at a time. I’d try a different artist each issue, and by the end of that run of issues, I’d synthesize all of those influences into the new style of the book. Issue #20 was going to be my Wally Wood issue. As I drew it, I realized that my idea of the Wally Wood style is to draw everything as completely and invitingly as possible. So issue #20 looked nothing like Wally Wood, but was maybe the issue with the best draftsmanship.


Godland #22 was my Barry Windsor-Smith issue. When I sat down to draw it, I meditated upon the, perhaps apocryphal, story of the 20-something Barry Windsor-Smith, homeless in New York, drawing maybe the greatest comic book series of all time for almost no money. How could I complain in my comfortable apartment making no money drawing Godland. I would place that same quixotic level of care and energy into my personal masterpiece, which after all is said and done, I have an ownership stake in, something young Barry couldn’t claim for his work. I drew the comic in 3 weeks and it was the most meticulously-drawn issue in the series. I’m extremely proud of it.


Godland issues 13-24 are reprinted in the Godland Celestial Edition: Volume 2 Hardcover which can be purchased by clicking on the button below:


Satan’s Soldier 2: Now Available

Satan’s Soldier 2 is now available for purchase. The comic is 58 pages, full color, and is signed by the author.

Here’s the front cover:

Here’s the back cover:

The scope of the story widens in this issue.
New characters are introduced.
Breathtaking vistas are explored.
The story goes in strange, unexpected directions, culminating in a violent jaw-dropping climax.

Click the button below to purchase Satan’s Soldier 2.