Check out Ryan Schrodt's weekly webcomic Dear Dinosaur every Thursday at www.twoforonecomics.com

Monday, April 29, 2013

MAKIN' LISTS MONDAY: Top 10 Favorite Animated Movies


In my first Top 10 list a few weeks ago, I listed my All Time Favorite Movies, but I deliberately did not include any animated films.  It would be impossible for me to consolidate the lists without my head completely exploding.  So, in the interest of my own cranial integrity, this week’s Top 10 list is my All-Time Favorite Movies—Animated Edition.  I’m a sucker for a good feature length animated film and have been obsessed with them since I was a wee little lad.  In fact, I even wrote my senior Honors Thesis on Disney’s animated features during my senior year of college (Black Magic Kingdom Revisited: How Corporate Culture Dictated Lessons of Morality in Disney Animated Feature Films).  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

DEAR DINOSAUR - How to Avoid Extinction


It’s Thursday evening and that means it’s time for official Dear Dinosaur commentary!  Today’s installment is actually the Volume Three finale and can be seen over www.twoforonecomics.com!  After Disaster Dan attacked Dear Dinosaur last week, can our hero survive?  Go check out this week’s strip if you haven’t and then come back for the commentary!

This strip wraps up both of the main storylines that have been going since the beginning of Volume Three.  Disaster Dan has Dear Dino in the worst possible place here and looks to finally have his revenge…that is, of course, until Dear Dinosaur’s estranged wife Krunch returns to save the day.  Over the last few months, Krunch has notice some small improvements in Dear Dinosaur’s behavior, which has softened her view of him some, though it’s the sight of her husband in danger that springs her to action here!

This might just be my favorite strip that I’ve ever drawn.  I pushed myself art wise to try some new things here and I think they worked out for the most part.  The tight close-up of Dear Dinosaur’s reaction to Krunch’s return worked nicely to set up the big action panel, I think.  And I’m really happy with how the “ghosted” panel of Krunch standing over the defeated Disaster Dan turned out.  I think this is the first time I’ve really been successful in utilizing cool grays to separate the background/foreground.  

I did agonize over the action panel, though.  I’m generally pretty awful at drawing motion and impact.  I have enough trouble drawing people just standing around.  I sketched out this panel at least ten times before I was happy with the placement and even then, it took me way longer to draw this single punch than it has to do any other panel in the history of the comic.  I spent a long time searching for good reference photos and was pretty pleased with a punch I saw in a Phil Hester comic, which I used as a model for this one.  

So, that’s it!  Dear Dinosaur Volume III is officially complete.  I sent the print version off earlier this week and will have it at conventions all summer!  If you are a Midwesterner, you should hunt me down to get a copy!

Next week is going to be a filler week so that I can build a stockpile of pages for Volume IV.  The week after that is a special “inspirational” Dear Dinosaur page.  The week after that after that will be the start of the new volume (May 16th) with a new highly ambitious storyline that I’m really proud of.  Hopefully you won’t hate it!  

Finally, this week’s strip, along with many others is for sale!  If you’d like to buy the original 11 x 17 art, it’s only $10 plus $3 shipping anywhere in the US.  Shoot me an email at rlschrodt@gmail.com if you are interested!


A little Edward Sharpe action, now that Krunch has come "home."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

OREN TAKES FLIGHT in MICE TEMPLAR!!!



Not long ago, my good friend and Oren Takes Flight co-creator Ben Holliday was asked to draw a pin-up for an upcoming issue of Mice Templar IV: Legend, the latest volume of the brilliant Image Comics fantasy epic.  Mice Templar has been one of my favorite comics since its debut and one of its creators, Bryan J.L. Glass, is a good friend and mentor to me.  I was super psyched for Ben...and then we got an awesome offer.

A brief preview of Oren Takes Flight will appear alongside Ben's pinup in the July issue of Mice Templar IV!  We are nearly ready to pitch the comic, so this is a HUGE opportunity for us to get some exposure before we send the book off to potential publishers.  

I want to publicly thank Bryan and the rest of the Mice Templar crew for this awesome opportunity.  Be sure to pick up Mice Templar IV #5 in July (and all of the previous volumes--on sale now!)!

Monday, April 22, 2013

MAKIN' LISTS MONDAY: Top 10 Futurama Episodes


I originally intended for this week’s Top 10 list to be my All Time Favorite Animated Feature Films, a quasi sequel to my first Top 10 list.  However, after today’s announcement that Futurama has been cancelled…again, I decided to switch it up and cover my Top 10 favorite episodes of Matt Groening’s vastly superior** but far less appreciated creation.  Oddly enough, I didn’t care much for Futurama when it first aired, despite growing up a total sci-fi nerd.  The show failed to click with me until I started watching it on [adult swim] in college.  Maybe my tastes matured or something.  Since then, however, Futurama has become one of my favorite television shows of all time and tonight we look at my favorite episodes of this modern classic.



Saturday, April 20, 2013

2013 Summer Convention Schedule


Here is a breakdown of where you can find me this summer!  I'll update if I add any shows to the list!

MAY 4 - Free Comic Book Day!
Comic World and Games
Dubuque, IA

MAY 18 - MCBA SpringCon
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
St. Paul, MN (Saturday only)
http://midwestcomicbook.com/?page_id=13

JUNE 8 - Kankakee Fantasy Con 
Kankakee Public Library
Kankakee, IL

JUNE 15 - Iowa Comic Book Club MINIcon
Adventureland Inn
Altoona, IA
http://www.iowacomicbookclub.com/

My commissions list for all shows are open!  Shoot me an email if you are interested:

Sketchcards $1
Sketchcard Sets $5 (six cards)
5 x 8 Sketches $5
9 x 12 Sketches $10
11 x 17 Sketches $15

All art is full color with limited backgrounds and up to 2 characters!



Thursday, April 18, 2013

DEAR DINOSAUR - Limited Time Only


It’s Dear Dinosaur commentary time!  Wooooooah!

Okay, maybe that was a bit much, but this is an exciting installment, as today was the first part of the epic two-part Volume III finale!  We’ve been building up this moment since December, when Dear Dinosaur hit rock bottom after his wife Krunch left him.  So, if you haven’t already checked it out, go to www.twoforonecomics.com right now and read the strip.  When you are done, come back here for the official commentary!

If for some reason you joined Dear Dinosaur in the middle of this volume and didn’t bother to read from the beginning, this week’s strip begins to wrap-up the “Disaster Dan” storyline.  Disaster Dan was introduced early on in the volume right before the Mayan Apocalypse was supposed to destroy the Earth.  Misunderstanding Dear Dinosaur’s advice, Dan resorted to cannibalism and was sent to prison.  He escaped a few weeks later and has been threatening Dear Dinosaur periodically ever since.  And now he is finally making good on those threats—it’s a rather intense situation.

The second panel was a fun nod to Rob Liefeld and Rob Liefeld imitators.  Rob is one of the most controversial creators in the history of the industry (and also one of the most significant).  He draws big fun action with over-the-top guns and lots of pouches.  I channeled my best Liefeld for this strip, which I want to reiterate is a playful homage.  Rob has more than his share of detractors and I do not want to be lumped in with that group.  I greatly respect Rob and his body of work. 

Speaking of things I respect, in the background of the panels is a poster for SAGA, arguably the best comic being produced today.  This wild epic space fantasy from Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples is a simply brilliant work from two of the best creators in the industry.  You should check it out.  I do believe the first trade paperback is really cheap and easy to find.

In his last panel, Dear Dinosaur is eating a McRib.  I probably shouldn’t be so proud of this, but I love the McRib.  I am one of the few people that is legitimately heartbroken every year when the McRib goes away.  The only thing I like better than the McRib is the McRib’s best friend, Second-McRib-for-a-Dollar.  Yes, I know that every McRib I eat shaves some time off of my life expectancy, but it’s just so damn good!

Also, if I’m not mistaken, this is the first time the word “bitchlizard” has ever been used.  Feel free to slip that into your casual conversations over the next few days.

Next week is the epic conclusion to Dear Dinosaur Volume 3.  Will Dear Dinosaur escape the wrath of Disaster Dan?  And where the hell is Krunch?

The week after that will be a special one-off Dear Dinosaur, then a filler week for me to catch up, and then in mid-May we will begin the overly ambitious Dear Dinosaur Volume 4: Jumping the Megalodon!

Finally, this week’s strip, along with many others is for sale!  If you’d like to buy the original 11 x 17 art, it’s only $10 plus $3 shipping anywhere in the US.  Shoot me an email at rlschrodt@gmail.com if you are interested!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DEAR DINOSAUR VOLUME III: HOW TO AVOID EXTINCTION!

Debuting at my Free Comic Book Day signing, Dear Dinosaur Volume III: How to Avoid Extinction! Here is the cover, drawn by me and expertly colored by up-and-comer BJ Humphrey!


Monday, April 15, 2013

MAKIN' LISTS MONDAY: Top 10 X-Men/Marvel Mutants


Ever since my earliest days as a comic book nerd and comic book culture enthusiast, I have loved the X-Men.  Even more than the Justice League, the Avengers, and the Teen Titans, the X-Men have always resonated with me.  Marvel’s merry mutants are a metaphor for everyone that has felt disenfranchised from society for whatever reason.  They were all different.  They were all a little weird.  And yet, somehow, they could come together to save a world that hated and feared them.  For a kid that never quite fit in, I always found solace in the pages of X-Men comics.

For today’s Top 10 list, I’m looking at my favorite mutants from Marvel’s pantheon, which includes literally hundreds of amazing characters since the X-Men were introduced in the 1960s.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY Plans and Prices!


May 4th is the annual Free Comic Book Day celebration all across this great nerd nation and once again, I will be signing and sketching at Comic World & Games in Dubuque, IA.  For those of you who are unaware, Free Comic Book Day (or FCBD) is a day when publishers provide comic stores with promotional comics to give away to their patrons in order to bring in new readers and to celebrate the medium we love so much.  Many shops will also have sales and signings on FCBD.  You can learn more about this nerd holiday here: http://www.freecomicbookday.com/

During my signing at Comic World, I will be debuting two new print comics—Dear Dinosaur Vol. III: How to Avoid Extinction and my third MAKEbelieve minicomic for young readers, Am I a Vampire?  In addition to these, I will have a slew of other comics, original art, and sketches for sale.  Below is a breakdown of the prices for the show.

COMICS
Dear Dinosaur (1 issue) $3
Dear Dinosaur (2 issues) $5
Dear Dinosaur (3 issues) $7
MAKEbelieve #1-3 $1 each
Matinee Eclectica $5
Shakespeare Shaken $15

ART
11 x 17 Dear Dinosaur pages $10
Dear Dinosaur Vol 1 prints $5
Small Sketches – 6 x 9 $5
(Includes bring-your-own sketchbooks and blank covers)
Medium Sketches – 9 x 12 $10 (preorder only)
Large Sketches – 11 x 17 $15 (preorder only)
Sketchcards $1
Sketchcard Sets (6 cards) $5

SPECIALS
Buy all 3 Dear Dinosaurs, get a Dear Dinosaur print for free! (limited quantities)
Buy all 3 MAKEbelieves, get a free sketchcard!

All sketches are full color.  The medium and large sketches are preorder only, but I would also prefer to do as many small sketches and sketchcards in advance as possible, as I will have a lot of sketch requests during the day. If you are interested, hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, or email!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

DEAR DINOSAUR - "Hip Hip Hippie Hooray!"


Better late than never, I say! Tonight’s Dear Dinosaur commentary is a bitter later than the usual posting time, but I’d like to think that the wait was worthwhile.  Tonight we look at this week’s strip, “Hip-Hip-Hippies-Hooray!” which can be found over at www.twoforonecomics.com!

I will admit that I was a little nervous about how well this strip would go over.  I have a lot of friends that are living the hipster/hippie-nouveaux lifestyle, which I’m pretty openly bashing here.  I totally get the idea of being health and environmental conscious, but what I, much like Dear Dinosaur, can’t stand is the incessant preaching from those who walk the Birkenstock path.  While you may live longer than me, the fact that you eat 100% hormone free organic granola chunks or whatever doesn’t make  you better than me simply because I choose to kill myself slowly with McRibs.  I’m glad that you are living this lifestyle, I just wish you would shut up about it.

But I digress.

I really cannot believe that it took until now for me to insert a Big Trouble in Little China reference into the strip.  I’m honestly pretty ashamed of that, considering this is the 65th all new Dear Dinosaur strip.  Eagle eyed readers will notice the BTiLC poster in the background of the Dear Dinosaur panels.  I’f I’m not mistaken, this is also the first time that I’ve referenced Parks & Recreation—one of the funniest comedies on TV.  In panel #3, Dear Dinosaur is drinking a big soda from Paunch Burger, a fictional fast food chain from the show.

Artistically, I tried a few new things in this issue, some that worked well and some that didn’t.  The darker background in the hippy panels drowns out the characters more than I’d like, which makes me sad.  I am, however, happy with the “Ha Ha Ha” background in the final panel. I used my Micron cool grey pens so that it feels “set back” from the main art, which keeps it from distracting the reader from Dear Dinosaur, while still allowing me to add a ton of busyness to the background itself.  The panel is a reference to my one of my favorite superhero comics, Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland.  The comic was lettered by my friend Richard Starkings, who aside from being one of the most revolutionary letterers in the history of comics, is also the creator of Elephantmen, one of the coolest comics of all time.

Be sure to check back next week for the first installment of the two part volume finale!

Finally, this week’s strip, along with many others is for sale!  If you’d like to buy the original 11 x 17 art, it’s only $10 plus $3 shipping anywhere in the US.  Shoot me an email at rlschrodt@gmail.com if you are interested!

Monday, April 8, 2013

MAKIN' LISTS MONDAY: Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Movies


A few weeks ago, my first Top 10 list revealed my favorite non-animated movies of all time. Those were the obvious ones--the films I'd readily admit to loving.  This week, however, we are going in a slightly different direction--the movies I'm not so quick to reveal my love for.  Today, we look at my Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Movies.  These are the movies I don't mind spending a lazy afternoon watching, even if I tell people that I'm watching sports instead.  These are the movies that I know are stupid, but love anyway.  Heck, some of these movies will probably cause you to lose respect for me.



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Schrodt's Wrestlemania 29 Predicitions!


You may or may not know that I'm a big WWE wrestling fan. Although I have occasionally taken a break for a year or two, I keep coming back to the world of sports entertainment.  My mom (who grew up watching regional pro wrestling as a kid and instilled a love of watching these over-the-top behemoths battle it out.  Over the last year or so, I've really returned to my roots as a wrestling fan and since I've been following the WWE again seriously for a while, I thought I'd post my picks for tonight's Wrestlemania 29 spectacular!




Saturday, April 6, 2013

COLD SLITHER!!!

I watched the movie Rock of Ages tonight and throughout the whole thing, I kept thinking about how insanely awesome the "Cold Slither" episode of GI JOE was.  If you've never seen it, the premise is that COBRA decides to set Zartan and the Dreadnoks up as an 80s hair metal band so that they can use subliminal messages in the music to mind control teenagers.  It's pretty much the best ever.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

DEAR DINOSAUR - "You are a Gigantic Disappointment!"


Dear Dinosaur is all-new over at www.twoforonecomics.com and that means it is time for some official commentary on today’s strip “You are a Gigantic Disappointment!

Over the last 16 months, we’ve learned a lot about Dear Dinosaur’s past, but one thing I’ve never touched on is his childhood.  Honestly, I never had much of an intention to do it, but at a convention this fall, someone asked me what kind of childhood would cause someone to grow up to be as abrasive and short-sighted as Dear Dinosaur.  It was a joking question, but it got me thinking and so I decided that at some point, I would need to introduce Dear Dinosaur’s parents.

Initially, I had planned for Dear Dinosaur’s father to be a billionaire human playboy that abandoned his mother, a dinosaur, before DD was born.   If for nothing else, I just liked the absurdity of it and it would be a fun nod to Phil Hester and Andy Kuhn’s Firebreather, which is about a boy whose mother was human and father was a dragon.  While this would have been a more dramatic revelation, I came up with the mental image of a tyrannosaurus family that was farmers, which is far more absurd.

So, ultimately, I ended up with the irony of Dear Dinosaur’s parents being farmers, despite the fact that their subspecies is perhaps the most famous carnivore in the entire dinosaur kingdom.  Plus, while having a lot of abandonment issues would be a plausible explanation for Dear Dinosaur’s behavior, I thought it would be little funnier if he actually had a quiet idyllic Midwestern childhood without an parental reason for him being such an asshole sometimes.

Finally, this week’s strip, along with many others is for sale!  If you’d like to buy the original 11 x 17 art, it’s only $10 plus $3 shipping anywhere in the US.  Shoot me an email at rlschrodt@gmail.com if you are interested!

Monday, April 1, 2013

MAKIN' LISTS MONDAY: Top 10 Superhero Comic Book Runs


While a lot of these lists will probably be random things like movies, music, and TV shows, since this website is dedicated to my adventures in writing comic books, it only makes sense that I devote quite a few of my Top 10 lists to comics, don’t you think? 

This week I will be looking over my Top 10 favorite superhero comic book creative team runs.  To qualify for the list, the runs must consist of multiple storylines featuring the same creators and characters.  Single stories don’t qualify, nor do single issues and one-shots.