By Beau Smith

The Manly Art:

Last week I left y’all with a little cliffhanger. Well, here it is a week later and it’s time for me to pay my tab.

I’ve mentioned before here in Busted Knuckles how there were guys that took the time to help me when I was tryin’ to bust into comics. They didn’t know me from Adam and they sure as hell didn’t have to take their time to help some funny talkin’ cowboy from the wilds of West Virginia. But they did. I will always be thankful to em’ for doin’ it. It showed me that they were real men and in some cases, women in comics. Ones that would stick out their hand and give another guy a lift into this business that we all love so much. So, right off I wanna list and thank these guys in public for helpin’ me get started on a 17 year career. They are:

Mike Baron, Tim Truman, Murray Boltinoff, Ernie Colon, Chuck Dixon, Walt Simonson, Robert Kanigher, Joe Kubert, Don Heck, Robert Greenberger, and Carol Kalish. They all helped me with their time, advice, phone calls, letters and much more. They always made time when they didn’t have to. Some of them aren’t with us today and I miss them. I know they’re lookin’ down right now wonderin’ why comics hasn’t found a way to get rid of me yet.

I always said to myself that if I ever got into the comics business I would always try to throw some rope to others that really wanted to get into this four color mess. I would do what I can, might not be much, but I’d try. Through the years I’m proud to say that I’ve had the chance to help some folks climb over the wall and get work in comics. So now I’m gonna try to once again help some folks out. It might just be you.

I want ya to pay very close attention and read my words real careful like so ya don’t misunderstand me. Here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna give some of my time and 17 years of knowledge to you aspiring artists out there. Since all of ya, like me, can’t be at every convention, I’ll bring the convention to you. You can get your portfolio review from me via email.

Notice I just said artists? not writers, colorists, letterers, and others. Just artists. The reason bein’ even I only have so much time to give and startin’ with artists is the easiest and quickest. I’ll get around the rest of ya in time. I ain’t goin’ no where.

Pencilers, painters and illustrators. Here’s what ya gotta do:

  • Send me copies/Xeroxes of your sequential pages of art/story. Send this by snail mail. DO NOT SEND IT BY EMAIL. It will clog up my email box and cause me all kinds of problems I don’t wanna have. My email box crashes when it gets too many large files sent to it. I get grouchy when that happens.
  • DO NOT SEND PIN UPS OR COVERS. When ya send those to editors it won’t get ya work. I need to see sequential pages. These are pages that come from either a script you have written or one that has been written for you by a writer. If you need a three-page script to draw from, let me know and I will send it to you. You can email me for that.
  • If you are wanting to be a penciler then send copies of your pencils. Not your inks. If you also wanna be an inker, then send copies of the pencils and then ones after it is inked.
  • Once I get your work I will look it over and give you a critique on it as timely as possible. Please remember, these will be my opinions. Editors and other creator’s opinions may vary from mine. Your best bet is to get as much feedback from as many people as possible and see what keeps coming up from all of them. You can bet that is a sure sign of something you’re doin’ right or somethin’ that you are doin’ wrong if it keeps comin’ up.
  • Please make sure that all your contact info is sent with your art. That includes email because that is the way I will more than likely get a hold of you to give you your critique.
  • Have thick skin. I’m not one that gives critiques through rose-colored glasses or with kid gloves. It’s a bare-knuckle review you’ll get from me or as in this case, a Busted Knuckles review. Be man or woman enough to take it. If ya can’t then don’t bother sendin’ your stuff in. I don’t wanna waste your time.

Those are pretty much the things I’ll need from ya. Here’s where ya send it:

Beau Smith
Bust My Knuckles
C/O The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507

Again, make sure you have all your contact information with your email. Don’t worry, I won’t sell or give your info away to anyone. It’s all for my own manly self.

This offer is open to anyone that wants my opinions and critique on their artwork. Please make sure ya read over the directions again before ya send your stuff out. I did this when I worked for Todd McFarlane a few years ago and got about 6000 submissions. Now ya see why I don’t want ya to email em’ to me.

I hope I didn’t come across too gruff, I just wanna save you and me headaches and speed bumps. If ya have any questions you can email me here at the ranch as always. I hope to be of help to ya in some small way. Just remember to mention my name at the awards show when ya win artist of the year.

By the way, amigos? this is all free of charge.

Real Man Comics:

Now and then here in Busted Knuckles I’m gonna tip ya off to a manly comic book or two. That way you’ll know what’s manly and worth your time to seek out and buy. After all, ya don’t want your best friends seein’ ya buy some Vertigo book about elves and trolls do ya? I thought not.

This week the two books I’m gonna mention are Aliens: Mondo Pest and Aliens Mondo Heat. These books came out from Dark Horse in 1995 and 1996. They have been two of my most favorite books of all time. Testosterone at it’s best.

Aliens: Mondo Heat. Cover and art by Ronnie Del Carmen.

Aliens Mondo Pest originally showed up in Dark Horse Comics #22-#24. Aliens Mondo Heat turned up on it’s own in 1996. Both books were written by Henry Gilroy and they had incredible art by Ronnie Del Carmen.

Both books star real man and Alien bug killer, Herk Mondo. A man after my own burlap covered heart. He’s a man’s man and ready to fry every face huggin’ alien that creeps out from under a rock?or somebody’s skin.

In Aliens Mondo Pest, Herk is at his manly best. There is tons of great action, tough talk and Ronnie Del Carmen shows why he is on a level with guys like Bruce Timm, Darwyn Cooke, Frank Cho, and Eric Powell. His art is nothin’ short of gutbucket wonderful.

Aliens: Mondo Heat. Cover and art by Ronnie Del Carmen.

Aliens Mondo Heat is even better. It’s got all the action, tough talk AND babes! This time Herk has to save a guy’s super hottie daughter and her equally babely friend from those mucus spittin’ aliens. Oh, let the fun and dismemberment begin!

This issue even has more tough guy humor than the first making it the best of the two. I keep these two issues right near me on the desk all the time. That way when I think comics have degraded themselves into maggot filled paper turds, I can reach over , grab these issues and feel that there is still hope for manly comics to be made. Read these when ya wanna wash away those creepy feelings that ya get when ya see sissy books like Sebastian O or some other Brit written sissy book.

Henry Gilroy has written stuff like Batman: The Animated Series and The Tick. Ronnie Del Carmen has also been workin’ in animation for a long time. I’d give my manly left one to work with these boys. Maybe even the right one if they’d do more comics.

Speakin’ of jewels, make sure you check these two books out.

Trio Of Testosterone:

While I’m on the subject of being manly?and I always am, I’ve got more advice for ya.

  1. Shanna The She-Devil or Liberty Meadows By Frank Cho
  2. The Goon By Eric Powell
  3. The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke

Waste no more of your time. Go out and buy these books. They are manly and they are so friggin’ beautiful it should be some sorta crime.

Just look at the art these three hombres produce. They are brilliant. I don’t hand that word out to just anybody. They are worth the cover price every time and even at that you’re getting’ a deal.

Shanna by Frank Cho

The Goon by Eric Powell

New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke

These guys know how to write. They write with thought, with care and with passion. They add just the right amount of humor and can still pour out the drama like a hard rain in August. Best part is that these guys don’t degrade or pervert the characters. It doesn’t matter if they’re doin’ their own stuff or something with 60 years of history attached, they stand, they deliver and don’t puke on the dress of the date that brought em’ to the dance. These are men. Real men.

Tired of all that crybaby angst of the X-Men with their enormous “Where’s Waldo” baggage? Tired of the JLA fighting yet another cookie cutter alien super power or a supernatural menace with a corncob stuck up it’s butt? Well then grab something by these guys and learn what a real hero is again.

I’m tired of all the action and adventure comics being shoved to the back of the comic book bus. It’s time we threw some the Nancy-Boys and talking heads outta the bus and under the wheels. The reason comics can’t be sold to the mass market is because there’s nothing they recognize to sell em’.

So either stand and deliver or put on a dress and make me a sandwich.

Great Stuff Unlimited:

Wanna know what a perfect example of mainstream comics to sell to the mass market is? Just tune into Cartoon Network and check out Justice League Unlimited.

There’s your answer in living color.

Justice League Unlimited

Great dialogue. Entertaining stories. Incredible action. Most of all, characterization. I’ve watched it a few times and I love it. This is what comic book characters are all about and by that I mean characters that will appeal to all ages.

There’s no blow job jokes, no cuss words being used like a 7th grader’s first time away from his parents and there’s no British accents!! I love the fact there’s humor, well-written humor. The action is very well produced. It’s not the same old cartoon fighting that we’ve seen a million times. It’s well thought out and applies to what is going on in the scene. There’s mood and lighting. Even Batman is fun to see here. Someone must have given him some Ex-Lax for this show. If you haven’t seen the show then tune in. If you have , then make a friend watch it. This stuff is gold.

I just watched the episode called The Cat and The Canary with Wildcat and Black Canary. I was knocked out. I couldn’t have written Wildcat any better than this. No ego. Just fact.

If I don’t get to take over all of comics soon I’m gonna bust. It’s an Obey Beau world? get the word out. Make everybody watch Justice League Unlimited.

Turn On The Lights And See Who’s Ugly:

Well, that wraps it up for this week’s Busted Knuckles. I hope ya learned something. I aim to entertain, educate and establish Beau Nation in your neck of the woods very soon. Keep the emails and letters comin’ in. I read em’ all. Thanks to all of ya that have been sendin’ in your photos for my website. I’ve been getting’ em’ posted up as fast as I can.

Beaulactus – Art by Flint Henry

A very large thanks goes out to Lisa Browning of Los Angeles, California for the really nice package of The Brave and the Bold comics with Wildcat in em’. That was extra nice of ya. I hope you enjoy your Wynonna Earp comics that I sent ya. And? thanks for your lovely photo. I’m sure you’ll get tons of marriage proposals from the guys that see it on my website.

Let me know if y’all need anything. I ain’t hard to find.

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