By Beau Smith

Once again I thought I’d take my regular Busted Knuckles column and feature another episode of Five Manly Questions With?

All of ya have been so kind with all your positive response to my Five Manly Questions. I really appreciate it. Another up side from this feature has been the long list of comic book creators and big shots that have emailed and called me wantin’ to get their 2 cents into the mix. Ya can’t ask for more than that.

This week I got lucky.

Naww, I don’t mean THAT kinda lucky? I’m lucky like that all the time. What I mean is this week instead of havin’ to share beers with some male comic book creator that never picks up the tab, I got to sit across the table from not only one of the most talented women in comics, but one of the best lookin’ babes in comics? Colleen Doran.

Now I’ve known Colleen since she was really child-like young and I was? well? younger than I am now. I remember one of the first times we hooked up was at the old Chicago Comic Con. Colleen, me and my very good buddy and famed artist, Ron Frenz were hangin’ out and havin’ a good ol’ time. We all sat through some borin’ panel and made fun of everybody that was on it. Colleen was just a child then, but she sure made me and Ron look good.

Over the years Colleen and I have flown on planes together, hung out at cons, and spent time questionin’ the manhood of some of the folks in comics. We’ve had a real good time together.

This time was no different. When I started this Five Manly Questions feature I knew that Colleen was gonna have to be a part of it. She has never held back with her thoughts and I like that. This woman takes no lip? even though most guys wish she was takin’ theirs.

You can dream on. Most of your thugs don’t have enough class. Trust me?I know.

Before we get into the meat of the matter here are a few items about Colleen that ya might want to know in case you’ve been livin’ in your parent’s basement for too long and don’t know squat.

Colleen Doran has illustrated hundreds of comics, graphic novels, books and magazines and dozens of stories and articles.

At the age of five, she won an art contest sponsored by the Walt Disney Company and landed her first professional assignment for an advertising agency at age fifteen. While still in college, she was a full-time professional artist who was able to add her professional work to her college art curriculum for credit. Overwhelmed with assignments, she left college early and has worked steadily since.

Her latest projects include Orbiter, a 104 page original graphic novel written by the acclaimed author Warren Ellis. Orbiter has already been profiled in major venues such as Entertainment Weekly. Look for it at Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon.Com and wherever graphic novels are sold.

Doran created her graphic novel series A Distant Soil at the age of twelve and she now writes and draws the series for Image Comics. It is now in its third collected volume and the first volume is in three printings. It is published in Spanish and soon to be published in Italian. It has sold, collectively, more than 500,000 copies.

Colleen enjoys hiking and jogging, gardening and volunteer work, having donated her time to organizations such as the AIDS Housing and Education Fund, The Yorktown Shipwreck Archaeological Project and the USO.

A lifelong Virginia resident, Colleen Doran’s father is a terrorism specialist with decades of experience in law enforcement and bomb disposal. Her mother is her personal assistance and is a saint.

She collects space memorabilia, astronaut autographs, and is a card-carrying charter member of The Lord of the Rings fan club, which means she has a healthy geek gene. Being a geek, you can find her name buried with all the other fans at the end of the extended edition Lord of the Rings DVD. She is said by author Neil Gaiman to be a “perfect lady” with “a very dirty laugh”. She is also vertically challenged.

She is an avid reader and studies for her own enjoyment and for her work. Her library of books includes collections on Greco-Roman history, archaeology, Pre-Raphaelite art, space science, and a whacking huge load of fiction. She enjoys the work of JRR Tolkien, Harlan Ellison, Clive Barker, Tanith Lee, Ellen Kusnher, Jane Austen, Delia Sherman, Terry Windling, Dave Eggers, Dominick Dunne, Dorothy Parker, Arthur Rimbaud and an endless list of books on tape, enjoyed while working at the drawing board.

I’d like to say she spends much of her spare time eyeballin’ photos of me, but then she’d just ask me if I was drunk.

You should really check out Colleen’s Real Woman Website at ColleenDoran.Com. You’ll find out all kinds of stuff about Colleen as well as see some “make your dreams come true” photos of her.

Knowin’ that I was gonna be talkin’ with a classy babe I made sure the bar we met in had table cloths and that they didn’t have a floor with a drain in the middle of it. I don’t need to tell ya what that’s for.

I was early. I always am. Ya gotta scope the place out ahead of time in case any violence busts out. Ya gotta know where the pool cues are to swing, where the best place to smash somebody’s head into the bar is? you know the drill.

I knew Colleen had walked in when I heard a couple of guy’s jaws drop. She found me pretty quick. She just followed the stench of testosterone and saddled up to the booth I was sittin’ in.

Colleen took the seat with her back to the wall. She said she always liked to see what was comin’ her way. She sat her purse down with a thud. I had heard that sound before. I figured she was packin’ at least a 9mm or snub nose .38 in that little leather bag.

Drinks were ordered and we caught up on lost time with conversation that most men and women save for HBO original programming.

We were through sizin’ each other up. It was time to get to the heart of the matter? Five Manly Questions.

Beau: Colleen, What annoyin’ celebrity would ya like to smack in the head with a shovel or heavy kitchen appliance?

Colleen: That’s easy, Beau. Michael Moore. I’d like to thwack him like a mighty major league slugger because I want to see if pigs can fly.

Beau: Fair enough, although you may have to wait in line. Next question. Name some of the sexiest and manly men on the Planet.

Colleen: Frank Miller and Rutger Hauer. If Frank Miller’s brain could be transplanted into Rutger Hauer’s body (the way Rutger looked in Blade Runner, that is) I would do a long list of things for him that you can’t put on television. Even cable.

General Norman Schwarzkopf. I met him at a dinner one night and got tingles. The man exudes power, confidence and nobility.

Victor Davis Hanson. His mind is the most gorgeous male appendage imaginable. His knowledge of classical history and the way he writes about ancient the Greco-Roman military makes me long for an empire and Pax Americana.

Sandro Kopp. You don’t know who he is. He had small roles in the Lord of the Rings films and is cast as a centaur in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. He is one of the 30 most beautiful men on the planet. He drips sex appeal. If he doesn’t become a star there is no justice in this world. He can also paint like a god. He is also married, which is OK because his wife is a doll. But if he weren’t, I would.

This Marine I met awhile back who was one of the President’s helicopter honor guards. In his dress blues, he looked like the Avatar of the Marine Corps. I can’t remember his name. But he was something. Semper Fi. Woof.

Sean Bean. Sean Bean, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: Sharpe’s Rifles, Boromir in Lord of the Rings, Lady Chatterly’s Lover. Even when he is a villain, I adore him. I can’t even understand what he says half the time because of that Yorkshire accent, but I would pay to hear him read the phone book. I am sloppy with gotta for Sean Bean.

John Glenn, astronaut and senator. John Glenn is the most clean-cut, decent, manliest man on the planet, next to my dad. John Glenn has been my hearthrob since I was a little girl. I used to clip pictures out of magazines because John Glenn was in them. He’s a man with a capital MAN. His heart rate barely rose when he was going up in that Mercury spacecraft for the first time, and when he took another ride into space on the shuttle, he was just as handsome and brave as ever. He is decent and good. Real women love real heroes. John Glenn is a great hero.

Hugo Weaving. He’s an honorable mention because I don’t know how super manly he is outside the Matrix, but I am so mad about his work as an artist that I pay unwholesome sums to get obscure films from Australia just because he is in them, and I have for years. The man is a true artist. He is the only person in the Matrix sequels who didn’t look embarrassed. He was having a blast, you could tell. And there he was, in Lord of the Rings, wearing some kind of laced up truss, but did he look girly in that long wig? He did not. He looked like a MANLY elf, even wearing braids and a hairclip. That takes testosterone. God, I love this guy.

NOTE TO THE READERS: I swear I heard her mention my name under her breath, but it was so noisy in the joint I musta missed it.

Beau: Ok, Colleen?. Name some manly movies that every real woman should see to appreciate a real man

Colleen: Nighthawks with Rutger Hauer playing a terrorist and Sly Stallone playing the cop out to get him. This is a great and fun buddy movie, very exciting. UN representatives get held hostage. Sad ending. They live.

Another Rutger Hauer film, this time he plays the hero: Wanted Dead or Alive. I love this film because my dad was a bomb disposal tech and they get some of the specs right. Dad loves the movie too, and when I met Rutger a couple of years ago, he was kind enough to sign some stuff for my dad, including the dvd of the movie. I think that was cool. Gene Simmons plays a Middle Eastern terrorist in this flick. This is a great roller coaster of a movie. Terrific chase scenes and the ending is a hoot. Any woman who sees these two films will appreciate the glory that is Rutger who is some kind of template for Manly Man and he gets more screen time than he does in Blade Runner, so that’s cool. I also really like Rutger in Blind Fury. Nothing deep about this flick, just fun martial arts with Rutger playing a blind Vietnam vet. Men in buddy flicks with kids are especially endearing to me because a manly man who acts as a father figure is even manlier.

I have a deep affection for Ahhhnold in the Terminator movies. I consider Terminator II the best exercise video ever made because if you don’t watch Linda Hamilton in that flick and go, “Whoa! I want to be like her!” you are not worthy of a manly man. I never fail to get up and do the sit-ups and pull-ups when I watch that movie.

The Battle of the Bulge. Robert Shaw as the German officer is the uber-male, and if it weren’t for political ideology, you would want him to win and that wimpy and miscast Jimmy Stewart to lose. What the hell is that milquetoast Stewart doing in that movie? The villainous Nazis should not be more interesting than the goodly American journalist, though considering the state of journalism today…

From the Earth to the Moon. The HBO mini-series, because real men grow up to be astronauts. I can’t even get through the introduction without blubbering. The death of the astronauts on Apollo I devastates me every time I see it and underscores what an incredibly risky operation the whole space program was. These men were MEN.

Band of Brothers. Great manly men from the greatest generation.

The Quiet Man. John Wayne. A man whose real name was Marion must have had to learn to throw his dukes around. I love the Duke. I especially love him in this movie. When he grabs Maureen O’Hara and swings her around into his arms, I melt. Sigh.

And before I forget? the most manly movie ever made? Patton with George C Scott.

Beau: Alright. Here’s a fight question for ya. Kick in the crotch or hit em’with your purse?

Colleen: Hit ’em in the crotch with the purse. They are not expecting that. Better yet, yell at them first. For some reason, that makes them pause. I got jumped a few years back while jogging. This guy came at me with his t-shirt up over the bottom of his face as a mask. He was wearing sunglasses and a cap and there he was, coming at me with his pants down. I just yelled, “You’ve got a really small penis!” as loud as I could and he ran away. That was the end of that. Loser.

Beau: [Small and in a low tone] Oh? I? Uh? Un? didn’t know that was you? Heh? Uh..sorry.

Umm? well? ok? Enough of THAT subject? Name some of your latest and upcoming real woman work in comics or entertainment that’ll make every real man readin’ this wanna go out and buy with their cherished beer money. Name the publisher as well.

Colleen: Manly men enjoy things that explode, so they will love Orbiter, the book I did last year with Warren Ellis. Space shuttles, big explosions, real wrath of Hollywood type stuff. Vertigo.

Better yet, they will forego the trip to the pub and spend their dough on Stealth Tribes, which is raw, gritty and very, very dark. Also written by Warren Ellis and from Vertigo.

With the last question done, Colleen looked at her watch and told me that she had to run. There was a major glitzy red carpet premiere that she had to attend. I thanked her for her time and for openin’ my last beer with her teeth. She said no problem and spit the bottle cap back at me as she slid out of the booth.

She winked at a couple of the yokels on her way out to the waiting limo. I heard their jaws drop for a second time. I smiled, took a long drink off my beer and thought?

“Now there goes a real woman.”

I just wanna remind ya that there are many more Five Manly Questions With comin’. I think you’re gonna get a kick in the teeth outta most of em’.. I’d like ya to send in your requests on who you’d like me to ask my manly questions to. I’ll hunt em’ down and jerk some answers out of em’ for ya.

Also, make sure ya go and visit my manly website I put up new words of manly wisdom , artwork and photos all the time. Remember to send in a jpeg of you, your girlfriend, your dog? whatever? I’ll get it up in my Manly Fans section.

Well, they’re closin’ up the bar. I gotta go find an after hours joint to hang in. Look for me. I ain’t hard to find.

Your amigo,

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507

Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!

About The Author


Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin