‘Book 1: The Last Good Morning’

Book One: The Last Good Morning

Last Good Morning cover

This is where it all begins, gentle readers.  Enjoy! NOTES: I had the titles and basic design for all three covers from very early on.  “The Last Good Morning” was my attempt at homage/send-up of all the great, bleak noir classics like “The Long Goodbye.” Most catch the recurring visual motif on the covers of […]

Book One, Page 1

Last Good Morning Pg. 1

NOTES: Our first glimpses of Franken Berry (General Mills’ Franken Berry cereal) and Buzz Bee (General Mills’ Honey Nut Cheerios).  Yeah, I know, for the longest time I didn’t know he had a name either.  This will also be the first of many shout-outs to the amazing Topher and his online resource: Topher’s Breakfast Cereal […]

Book One, Page 2

Last Good Morning Pg 2

NOTES: Our first look at the “big bad” of the series and a personal favorite (as a cereal and a character): Count Chocula (General Mills’ Count Chocula cereal).  Had great fun designing the bat-themed throne and throne room here.  I also gave the suits of armor helmets mimicking Chocula’s unique hairstyle, which you get a […]

Book One, Page 3

Last Good Morning pg 3

NOTES: Okay, now you know what you’re in for. I get asked a lot if I had (have) any particular dislike for poor Buzz Bee to have disposed of him in such a brutal fashion.  And, to be honest, yeah, kinda.  Basically, I wanted a character to be offed graphically at the very beginning of […]

Book One, Page 4

Last Good Morning Pg 4

NOTES: Cerealia is mentioned by name for the first time.  I always hated the name (invented by my 19 year-old self) but I later learned that “Cerealia” was an ancient Roman festival in celebration of Ceres, the goddess of the hearth and grain crops.  The goddess of cereal! I was really proud of inventing the […]

Book One, Page 5

Last Good Morning Pg 5

NOTES: A page totally in the service of parody.  I do so love those omniscient commentators that often pop up in comic book crossovers and mega-events.  Nothing says “oooohhh shit – here we go!” like a fourth-wall breaking cameo by The Spectre or The Watcher or Metron of the New Gods. Here we have our […]

Book One, Page 6

Last Good Morning pg 6

NOTES: The first appearance of “The Big Two:” Cap’n Crunch (Quaker’s Cap’n Crunch cereal) and Tony the Tiger (Kelloggs’ Frosted Flakes).  I’ll make no bones about it – these two characters (as well as their respective cereals) are my favorites of the whole bunch.  Plus their stature as long-standing, extremely popular mascots made them naturals […]

Book One, Page 7

Last Good Morning pg 7

NOTES: Here I finally address the burning question: How do people sleep in a world of perpetual morning?  Why, with sleep masks on, of course! Our debuts of Snap, Crackle and Pop (who, because of the napping scenario and subsequent abduction, I never got to draw wearing their trademark hats).  Snap (Kelloggs’ Rice Krispies cereal) […]

Book One, Page 8

Last Good Morning pg 8

NOTE: One of the most delightful parts of writing this book was in playing with character tropes.  When faced with the introduction of Officer Krum (a.k.a. The Cookie Cop of Ralston’s Cookie Crisp cereal), I knew I had to use the hard-bitten cop “voice-over” so over-used in fiction, TV and film.  He’s the world-weary cop […]

Book One, Page 9

Last Good Morning pg 9

NOTES: Ahh, and nothing’s funnier than police brutality, am I right?  In view of the later revelation about the relationship between Cop and Crook, I find this page much creepier in hindsight. And a bit of back-patting, I’ve always been proud of this page layout.  Go, me!

Book One, Page 10

Last Good Morning pg 10

NOTES: Here we have my first teases at what the “grand story” is.  Krum’s mention of the king and wizard’s disappearances plants the seed and, for me anyway, works on a couple of levels.  On the meta level, Krum speaks of stepping up to keep the order in Cookie Jarvis’s absence; this was my way […]

Book One, Page 11

Last Good Morning pg 11

NOTES: The “sleeping king” is a classic fantasy trope that predates even the Arthurian romances.  So, yeah, it’s good enough for BOTG. Ditto torture scenes. And hopefully a few people get that it’s Boo Berry sneakily leaving the scene in the last panel.  I was never really sure if that was clear enough.

Book One, Page 12

Last Good Morning pg 12

NOTES: What originally drew me to Count Chocula (the character and the cereal) was my love for Dracula (the character, NOT the cereal).  Long time Drac fan right here and, as such, I’ve always loved villains with a highly romantic self-image; the kind of guys who will, on any given night, step onto a parapet […]

Book One, Page 13

Last Good Morning pg 13

NOTES: This page, heh, this page gets a lot of comments.  The idea of torturing Snap, Crackle and Pop in ways that play off their names was one of the first that occurred to me when I was coming up with the story. It was sick, I know, but it was very me.  For years […]

Book One, Page 14

Last Good Morning pg 14

NOTES: This page features one of my biggest blunders, character-wise, and one that I was forced to perpetuate through the rest of the series.  I knew Seadog was Crunch’s first mate, I vaguely remembered him from the commercials of the ’70s, but I seem to have forgotten one of his main traits: he doesn’t talk. […]

Book One, Page 15

Last Good Morning pg 15

NOTES: What can one say about Sugar Bear (Post’s Super Sugar Crisp cereal)?  I loved his commercials (not a huge fan of the cereal, though).  He was unflappable and cool with his hipster-ish Bing Crosby/Dean Martin-ish voice.  And then, in the ’80s, for just a while, he had the ability to become the hulked-out “Super […]

Book One, Pages 16 & 17

Last Good Morning pgs 16-17

NOTES: Okay, one of the big ones.  This spread exists for a few reasons.  One: a preamble to the conflict to come on the next page.  Two: it’s an exposition dump where I can elaborate on Cerealia’s complicated history for the first time; I really wanted to shade Cap’n Crunch as a character a bit […]

Book One, Page 18

Last Good Morning pg 18

NOTES: Hee Hee, if it’s not clear, is actually that character’s name.  He’s the right-hand man to King Ayummayumma. I enjoyed drawing the bottom panel as it was the first full-on “action” panel in the book.  I purposefully inked the main figures of Crunch and Tony in a heightened, detailed mainstream comics manner as if […]

Book One, Page 19

Last Good Morning pg 19

NOTES: Not a lot to say about this page other than enjoy the one small appearance of poor Carlyle in the 5th panel.  Oh, and I’m rather proud of creating the “spoonapult.”

Book One, Page 20

Last Good Morning pg 20

NOTES: Look at me trying some dynamic page layout!  And wee Carlyle gets it from a giant strawberry – what a delicious, delicious way to go.  Though there’s some hardcore violence on this page, I was always happy to present the Cap’n as a total badass.  Part of the “success” of BOTG is the marriage […]

Book One, Page 21

Last Good Morning pg 21

NOTES: Ayummayumma’s wicker throne atop the cage of the Crunchberry Beast was a fun idea and fun to draw as was Ayummayumma himself.  All credit for turning me on to the existence of Fruit Islands cereal goes to my art school buddies Greg Lovinski and Jason McDonald.  I had never heard of the cereal (was […]

Book One, Page 22

Last Good Morning pg 22

NOTES: A big arrival for the Crunchberry Beast or (“C.B.” as his friends call him).  I always loved the character (Quaker’s Crunchberries cereal) but knew from the get-go that he would be a tool of Chocula’s plot.  He’s an innocent yet feral beast and he was destined to go down violently.  The trick in drawing him […]

Book One, Page 23

Last Good Morning pg 23

NOTES: Here’s a page I’m particularly proud of.  Throughout the series I would set little artistic challenges for myself.  One thing in comics art you don’t often see is a 12 panel page (unless you’re Chris Ware and routinely offer up 36 panel pages).  Obviously the panels are so small by this point that the […]

Book One, Page 24

Last Good Morning pg 24

NOTES: Chocula the master manipulator!  Not much to note on this page other than Brunnhilde proving, yet again, to be tougher than her fellow crewman Alfie.  Oh, and I’m fond of the mirrored forms in the last two panels: Ayummayumma’s hand and the cup, the king’s slumping body and Crunch’s posture. 

Book One, Page 25

Last Good Morning pg 25

NOTES: I like this page.  Anytime I can take a beat and let the emotional impact of some dramatic plot point sink in, I’m all for it.  And this is my favorite drawing of the Cap’n I did for the whole series.  Even with what looks like the aftermath of a Gallagher performance behind him, […]

Book One, Page 26

Last Good Morning pg 26

NOTES: The whole layout of this page was an intentional callback to page 5 (go take a look!) from the vision of Crunch in the flame like Buzz Bee in the scrying cereal bowl to the frame around the central characters (lucky charms instead of Celtic spoons and bowls). And here we finally see Lucky […]

Book One, Page 27

Last Good Morning pg 27

Annotations to come!

Book One, Page 28

Last Good Morning pg 28

Annotations to come!

Book One, Page 29

Last Good Morning pg 29

Annotations to come!

Book One, Page 30 (end of The Last Good Morning)

Last Good Morning pg 30

Annotations to come!