Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I just got a copy of the latest Comics Journal (#287) and it has an awesomely good review of The Blot by Chris Mautner (who may or may not be the same as this Chris Mautner).
I don't think there is a version of it online, so go get a copy and read it. The cover story is a long interview with Jeffrey Brown.
I showed the review to my friends at the shop and they said "WOW! The Comics Journal hates everything."
As I was leaving the comic shop, I was reading the review while walking down the street... and I stepped in dog-shit. So, the universe balances itself.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Wow! Douglas Wolk picked me as one of the best graphic novels of 2007 over at Salon.com. Thank you!!!
If you haven't read Wolk's book "Reading Comics", I highly recommend it. It's a great collection of essays on various cartoonists, with a couple of essays on the need for good criticism in the comics world.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
It's funny... two weeks ago, I was talking to someone about how I wish there was an indie comics festival in L.A. 4 years ago there was a pretty good one, but it disappeared. Then a friend mentioned that it was back and I wondered "Why the hell didn't anyone tell me?" Well, luckily I managed to get a table at the last minute and I will be exhibiting at super*MARKET L.A. this Saturday afternoon.
I'll have copies of The Blot and my 3 giclée prints available for sale.
My pal David King will be joining me with some of his mini-comics.
super*MARKET will be a great place to get some last minute holiday shopping for anyone who knows a fan of great comics. It seems like every cartoonist in L.A. will be exhibiting there.
It's at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood this Saturday, December 15th, from 11am to 6pm
Unfortunately, I'll have to leave around 3 or 4, so get there early to get my stuff!
(above illustration by Martin Cendreda)
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I'm working on a Top 5 list of comics from 2007 for another blog right now.
To help me shorten the list, I set a couple of rules for myself: I'm intentionally leaving out collections (such as Joe Matt's Spent or Adrian Tomine's Shortcomings) because they collect stories that were previously published as comic books. I'm also leaving out anthologies (such as Mome) because I don't want to single out an individual story by one artist in a book by several artists, and I've yet to read an anthology that I loved cover to cover.
Weeding it down to my favorites of the year I have a list of 13 that will have to be whittled down further for my top 5:
1. Reich by Elijah J. Brubaker (Sparkplug Comic Books)
This is one of the best biography comics I've ever read. A really good read, and the art is well done.
2. Lucky Vol. 2 # 1 Gabrielle Bell (Drawn & Quarterly)
Gabrielle continues to be one of my favorite writers in comics today.
3. The End by Anders Nilson (Fantagraphics)
I wanted to include "Don't Go Where I Can't Follow" but I loooked to find that it was published in 2006. The End is sort of a companion piece to that book, and I highly recommend both books, and everything else by Anders. He is currently my favorite contemporary cartoonist.
4. Sammy the Mouse by Zak Sally (Fantagraphics)
If you haven't read his previous book The Recidivist, go read it now. Sammy the Mouse is the beginning of what looks to be a very interesting story.
5. Injury Comics #1 by Ted May (Buenaventura Press)
I wish Ted May was the editor in chief at Marvel Comics.
6. Bat man by Josh Simmons (Josh Simmons)
The creepiest, weirdest batman story you'll never read.
7. Bluefuzz the Hero by Jesse Reklaw (Slow Wave)
Reklaw, who wrote my favorite comic of 2006 Couch Tag #3, gets some of his D&D obsessions out in this wonderful little mini-comic.
8. Reporter #6 by Dylan Williams (Sparkplug Comic Books)
Dylan is proving to be one of the most original voices in contemporary comics. He's unlike anyone else. So much so that I don't feel like I fully "get" him, but I really want to.
9. Service Industry by T. Edward Bak (Bodega)
Quite simply the best single story I've read in comics in a long time.
10. House by Josh Simmons (Fantagraphics)
Creepy... really creepy. I love horror movies, but am always disappointed with horror comiss. Not this time.
11. Windy Corner #1 by Austin English (Sparkplug Comic Books)
Austin English is a poetic genius and his new magazine is a must read.
12. Storeyville by Frank Santoro (Picturebox)
I can't put my finger on why I liked this book so much.
13. 1-800 Mice by Matthew Thurber (Picturebox)
There are a lot of people doing "Art" comics that are just confused, drug-addled wastes of paper. Thurber is giving us a confused, drug-addled masterpiece.
Other things I've loved this year are a lot of reprints such as the Popeye, Krazy Kat and Peanuts books published by Fantagraphics, Walt and Skeezix and Moomin books published by Drawn & Quarterly, all the awesome Jack Kirby hardcover omnibuses that are out now from various publishers, and King Cat Classix by John Porcelino (Drawn & Quarterly). Also of note: The Incredible Changebots by Jeffrey Brown and Fox Bunny Funny by Andy Hartzell. One more: so far I'm really liking the series Omega the Unknown by Jonathan Lethem and Farel Dalrymple.
Here's hoping my book The Blot will make it into some other "Top" lists of 2007.
Lastly, my friend Aaron often ends his posts by mentioning what he's listening to lately. I like that. So, here's what I've been listening to this week: In Rainbows by Radiohead, The Hobbit (audiobook) by J.R.R. Tolkein, Love That's Last by Oxbow, The August Engine by Hammers of Misfortune and The Complete On The Corner Sessions by Miles Davis.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Ned Beauman reviews The Blot over at the Guardian UK and says:
"Neely's remarkable self-published debut pits its spindly hero against a looming black splatter that seems to have the power both to create and destroy. There's a copy of Moby Dick on the hero's bedroom floor, and the symbolic significance of the Blot is as deliberately obscure as that of Melville's whale - is it sin, fear, depression, or something more ambivalent? A series of startlingly surreal twists (and the arrival of a love interest) exploit Neely's considerable artistic gifts to their fullest."
You cant beat a comparison to Melville! For those of you that don't know, I've been mildly obsessed with Moby Dick recently. I read it 4 times in the last coupe of years, and I rarely read anything more than once because I'm a slow reader. Thus, it made sense to put the book by the bedside of the character in The Blot (one of many self-referential hints throughout the book).
I also did a really large painting of Moby Dick for a group show last summer. I may be making prints of this piece soon.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The painting above will be a part of an anti-war benefit art show at Corey Helford Gallery.
25 artists including the likes of Gary Baseman, Andrew Brandou, Korin Faught, David Sandlin, Gary Taxali, and ME!
One Night Only
Tuesday, December 4th 5-10 pm
Corey Helford Gallery
8522 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA
Also- CHG is making posters of everyone's artwork that will be given away for FREE at the show. The posters will feature the artwork plus an anti-war slogan of some sort. Mine says "the war is within us."
Typically there is a line out the door of people eagerly waiting for a chance to get into the openings at Corey Helford, so get there early if you wanna see the show. It's only up for one night. And my piece has already been sold.
See you there!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
I won the
For those of you who haven't seen one, the award is an actual brick mounted on a little wooden stand with a nice image of Ignatz Mouse burned into it.
That's me giving my acceptance speech for the award. I think I said something really eloquent like: "uh... thanks... for reading it... and stuff."
Monday, October 08, 2007
I'm heading to
I'll be sharing a table with my pals from
I will also be participating in my first panel.
And- I was nominated in the Promising New Talent category for
Here's hoping I come home with my very own brick!
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I know I've been doing a lot of stuff lately.
But if you've missed out on my
Come join us Thursday, September 27th from 6 to 8 pm
I will be signing my
The evening will also be another opportunity to see my solo show
Other exclusive items available:
New limited edition box set of 13 mini-prints for my series
Limited edition giclee prints of three paintings
Self Indulgent Werewolf
Limited edition vinyl record of Self Indulgent Werewolf soundtrack recorded by me
So, please come out and join us.
Have a glass of wine or a beer and get your books signed.
Thursday, September 27th
3137 Glendale Blvd (Atwater Village)
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Here's what the critics are saying about "The Blot":
- Ron Garmon for L.A. City Beat
- Tom Spurgeon for The Comics Reporter
- Sean T. Collins
- Jeff Vandermeer for Bookslut.com
- Joe McCulloch
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I'm in this week's
It also has a nice zombie-Popeye cover illustration by Tony Millionaire.
I come across as completely inarticulate about my art when quoted, but we talk about my art show, my book, beards, and other random things. So, go read
Friday, September 14, 2007
I don't know how to add an animated gif to a blog-post.
But if you
Limited edition of 40 signed sets for $50.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
WOOHOO! The Blot is nominated for an Ignatz award.
Promising New Talent
Gabrielle Bell, Lucky, Drawn & Quarterly Showcase Vol. 4 (Drawn & Quarterly)
Scott Campbell, Flight Vol. 4 (Ballantine Books), Hickee vol. 3 #3 (Alternative Comics)
Lilli Carre, You Ain't No Dancer Vol. 2 (New Reliable Press)
Brandon Graham, King City (TokyoPop)
Tom Neely, The Blot (I Will Destroy You)
I love Scott Campbell and Gabrielle Bell's work, so they're tough competition.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
I wanted this to be a surprise at my show, but I can't resist posting these photos of my amazingly awesome sculpture!
It's about 6 1/2 feet tall: a life-size version of the character from my book.
Designed by me.
Sculpted by Walt (under my supervision) at the Mannequin Gallery.
Photos by Sam Sagasian.
It's in a limited edition of 3 if you want one.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
I'm on the cover of
I especially like the last paragraph:
I finished up all my paintings for the show last week.
This week, I've been busy getting the show put together over at
And a big wolf head by the door to greet you!
See you next week!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Saturday, September 15th, 7-11 pm at
My first L.A. solo show: Self Indulgent Werewolf.
34 new paintings!
1 large sculpture!
Soundtrack album composed and recorded by me!
My book- The Blot!
Lots of nudity!
Also- My friend Aaron Turner, singer and guitarist for
I know every other gallery in town has an opening that night- but I promise mine is way better than any of those other shows. And I promise way more nudity than any of the other shows!
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I'm going to the
I'm really looking forward to seeing this festival. It's supposed to be really great. And I'm looking forward to seeing Toronto. If you're up in that neck o' the woods, come check it out.
Monday, August 13, 2007
I have a fascination with
I was talking to a friend the other day about how it's kind of difficult to be a black metal fan because there is a lot of baggage attached to that genre of music. For one thing, I can't say I in any way support the politics of most black metal bands- many of which are outright fascists- nor do I believe in most of their supposed allegiance with Satanism or Odin worshipping.
The music of many of these bands is really interesting and often beautiful in a horrific way, while others are more like
Liking black metal is also difficult because so many of the bands' persona are so ridiculous and they take themselves so seriously that it seems completely unbelievable. I often find myself wondering if it's all an act, or if these guys really are as serious as they try to be. I suspect there is some of each in the mix somewhere.
Anyway... I designed my name into a black metal style logo for a t-shirt design for
There is also a bit of black metal influence in the soundtrack that I have recorded for the show. I'll post more details about that soon.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
I've been devouring comics since I got back from Comicon. I avoided reading most comics during the creation of my book,
Hands down, the best comic book I got at
It appears that
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
I did Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I've been somewhat obsessed with that book recently and have read it 4 times in the last couple of years. My piece is over 5 feet tall. Ink on paper. I'm posting an image of it (click for larger view), but it's hard to really see all the detail on a computer screen. I hope you can come see it in person. I put a lot of effort into this one. I'm even impressed myself with how it came out. For those of you who haven't read Moby Dick, I totally give away the ending. So, come see it and I'll spoil the book for you.
The opening is this Saturday at
8522 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Opening Reception Saturday, August 11th 7 - 10 pm
Among many other artists who I don't know, this show also includes pieces by my friends
Come check it out!
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I have to say this was the most fun I've ever had at the San Diego Comic Convention. It was also the most exhausting running my own booth with the help of my fellow Igloo Tornados.
I debuted "The Blot" there and was very happy to find it well received by many people. This year, I felt like a real cartoonist with my first graphic novel. I sold a lot of copies and signed nearly every one of them. I met some new people and had a lot of fun hanging out with all my cartoonist friends.
I got a few pictures of people in costumes posing with my book:
Tobias Fünke from Arrested Development
And I got a lot of great new books:
This year, I was really happy to see a lot of "comic books" from artists I like, rather than "graphic novels." The photo above includes: Joe Matt's Spent, James Sturm's America, Jermy Tindler is an Asshole, Porcelain Skinned Dandy & Homicide Detective by David King, Black Ghost Apple Factory by Jermy Tindler, Injury by Ted May and friends, 1-800-MICE by Matthew Thurber, Cat Suit by Steve Lafler, Edison Steelhead's Lost Portfolio by Renée French, Reich by Elijah Brubaker, Green Grass anthology, Reporter #6 by Dylan Williams, Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan, Incredible Change-bots by Jeffrey Brown, Watching Days Become Years #4 by Jeff Levine, Suicide Girls Magazine #1, Fox Bunny Funny by Andy Hartzell, Aviary by Jamie Tanner, Love Eats Brains by Dash Shaw, a stack of awesome horror comics from the '50s and '60s, and a nice Squid and Whale shirt by Josh Frankel.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
We just stapled all our minis last night and I'm surprised at all we have:
10 different mini-zines and mini-comics.
3.5* different t-shirts in a rainbow of colors
4 limited edition giclée prints
"Lace Lock Losers" B&W with hand-printed covers
"Now or Later Loser" in Full Color with hand-printed covers
Or buy the special packet of both and get a 3rd mini "Loser"
(kinda like those porno three packs you get at truckstops)
"Loser Goes First" T-shirt
and his beautiful giclée print "Tete-a-tete"
The soon to be controversial "Fat Elvis" in which he has recontextualized artwork from the old south with some jokes by a famous comedian.
"The Only One There Could Ever Be"- a book of illustrated poetry
inspired by the Highlander series of movies by Jihanian
(illustrations by other members of the Igloo).
"Ordinary Fieldbook"- this is gonna be the best mini of the convention! A beautiful full color sketchbook.
Chock-full of monster battles and grocery lists,
if you've never seen Levon's sketchbooks, you've been missing out!
"Cat & Demon" Igloo Tornado t-shirt
His debut graphic novel "The Blot"
"S'supermini"- a mini comic of super-hero gag cartoons
"I'm Depressed"- the unauthorized garfield comic
3 new giclée limited edition prints of his paintings:
"The Blot" t-shirts
The infamous "Henry & Glenn 4-Ever #1" returns!
But wait, there's a new one: "Henry & Glenn 4-Ever #2" with special guest stars Hall & Oates as their new neighbors!
"Hall & Oates" t-shirts!
There may also be some original artwork for sale.
We'll be joining
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Last night's book release party at
You can see
Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with me!
Friday, July 20, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
I'm extremely happy to announce my first Book Release Party for my first graphic novel "The Blot."
It will be this Friday, July 20th at
Please come out and help me celebrate a year's worth of hard work in getting this book done. If the book isn't enough to get you out of the house- there will also be beer.
I also have new limited edition giclée prints of these 3 paintings that will be available for sale:
So, come on out, have a beer, buy my book, make me sign it... or just come say "hi."
The Blot by Tom Neely
Book Release and Signing Party
3817 W. Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Friday, July 20th 8-10 pm
For those of you not in the L.A. area, I will be at the following comics festivals with my book:
San Diego Comic Con July 25-29 at the I Will Destroy You/Sparkplug Comic Book booth
Toronto Comic Arts Festival August 18th & 19th at the Sparkplug Comic Book booth
Small Press Expo in Bethesda Maryland October 13th & 14th at the Sparkplug Comic Book booth
I hope to see you all soon.
If you can't make it to any of those events, you can always order "The Blot" from my site:
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I have two pieces in this group show at
Here are my pieces for the show (sorry though the scans are a little washed out):
The show also includes my pal, and fellow
Thursday, July 05, 2007
My good pal,
He also made toys of Whaleboy, and there's a release party for them tonight at
There will also be a show of various artists doing pieces of Whaleboy art. That's my drawing (above) of when Whaleboy met Ahab.
Go check 'em out at
Monday, July 02, 2007
This reminds me that there is another ink blot strip drawn by Winsor McCay. I believe it was from a Rarebit Fiend in which a man is annoyed by an onslought of dripped ink from the cartoonist's brush. I've always loved McCay, but had never seen that strip until I saw the original artwork in the Masters of American Comics exhibit at the Hammer Museum in L.A. last year. It was not a direct influence on my book (I'd already completed the first chapter of The Blot before I saw this McCay strip) but his Little Nemo comics have always been a big inspiration to me.
*Note: Years later, I felt bad about stealing the porn, so, my friend (a cohort in the crime) and I went back one day and left $50 on the cash register when the vendor wasn't looking.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I love taking pictures of my book in stores. This picture is from
I couldn't be happier to be stuck between the biography of Milton Caniff and a book of "stacked" pin-up ladies. And to be a shelf above Batman and Bone aint bad either.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Sidenote: Rich, also an avid fan of comics, and I would often suffer the embarrassment of "twinkies" when we would both accidentally show up at a club wearing the same Captain America t-shirt.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Painter and cartoonist Tom Neely's first graphic novel, "The Blot," is like a sad song that breaks your heart while reminding you of life's beauty.
“The Blot" follows a nameless everyman who, while dealing with the fallout from a doomed relationship, is stalked by a mysterious black splotch. As the story unfolds, this shape-shifting blot appears as a harmless cloud of ink, a faceless demon, a source of strength and an inescapable darkness, testing our character in a new way
with each metamorphosis.
With a drawing style resembling the 1930s newspaper comic strips of E.C. Segar and Floyd Gottfredson, and a surrealistic sensibility inspired by painter René Magritte, Neely eschews traditional, representational comic storytelling and finds innovative new ways to tell an ultimately human story about love and loss.
"The Blot" and its characters are an outgrowth of the work Neely has done in his paintings, illustrations and animation over the past several years. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he works as a freelance animator and illustrator. He earned an M.F.A. in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2000 and has exhibited his paintings in multiple galleries throughout San Francisco, and L.A. Neely's illustrations have been featured in dozens of magazines and literary journals and have been featured in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 American Illustration annuals. His comics have appeared in the Graphic Classics anthologies, Expo 2003, Grind, Scram, Kitchen Sink
and Nickelodeon Magazines.
192 Pages, Black & White and Color, Paperback, $14.95 (US)
Available now from I Will Destroy You
P.O. Box 39963, Los Angeles, CA 90039
Book Release and Signing
July 20th, 2007 at
3817 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
MY BOOK HAS ARRIVED!!!
The Boxes were inspected by my intern, Barky, and everything is fine. Boy, are there a lot of 'em- 3 palletes worth... 142 boxes that need to be crammed into every available space in my house... I gotta start selling these things or else start making furniture out of the boxes.
All that's left is to wrap the belly-band aroud each one as I go:
I must say, it looks beautiful! I couldn't be prouder of this book. I've read through it twice, and I have no complaints (although I found 2 mistakes that I doubt anyone else will notice).
You can order them now from
If you want me to sign it to you and maybe doodle something in there, send me an e-mail telling me what you want.
They aren't in stores yet, but hopefully will be soon.
I'll be having a book release party on July 20th at
Then I'll be debuting them at the
Now, what are you waiting for?