VLADRUSHKA by John Linton Roberson (c) 2022.
I Didn't Write That!
31 March 2016
  An Illustration of the Theme of Suzy Spreadwell


The whole point of Suzy Spreadwell, down to her name, is that the most sexually repressed people, like "Purity" Christians, are not only the most sexually obsessed, and the most vulnerable to temptation, but the ones that no matter how hard they try always sound the most perverse, and like a pimple, the more they try to get rid of it the bigger and more painful they make it, till it bursts whether they want it to or not. 

If you think about something all the time, even negatively, you will be it. You'll just hate yourself and others for it, that's all.

Suzy Spreadwell: America's Sweetheart a comic by John Linton Roberson


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27 March 2016
  Luis Buñuel - SIMON OF THE DESERT (1965) and NAZARIN (1958)

In honor of Easter, two of Luis Buñuel's thoughtful devotional works (after the break). I apologize for the poor video quality.
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26 March 2016
  The Moral Uplift of Jonathan Kent

Clark's dad always smelled like fear.
"So, what did the metallurgist say to people when he found something that rare?"
"Oh, he won't be telling anyone with a slit throat."
"WHAT? You killed someone?--"
"After the first one it gets easier"

"Whatever it takes. I explained this. I'm willing. You can tell them I protected you when the time comes."
"Huh? What time?"
"Son, all I know is you were sent here for a purpose. And I just want the Elder Gods to kill me first as a reward for preparing your way."
"Dad, you're freaking me out."
"All I can do is submit and obey, son. I'm just one man and I mean nothing, and I know that, and I've taught you that too, that people mean nothing. Because I love you and don't want you to feel guilt on the day you rain destruction and chaos and fire till all the earth is rubble and skulls."

"I wish I didn't have to see it. I can pray for some great whirlwind or something to take me and kill me before it happens, but that would be too much to hope for." He choked back tears of anguish for the future.
"I'd save you!"


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25 March 2016
  Nixon Invented the War on Drugs as a War on Black People: Larry Wilmore, Mike Yard, & Joe Morton Explain
And following the last post with more to make you angry from the past! Although not even past.

Sometimes when you hear previously unrevealed information about famous people after they die, it humanizes them. It makes them seem better somehow in our eyes. In Nixon's case everything you find out about him only gets more damning each time. There was no bottom to the conscious evil of this man. I recommend Rick Perlstein's NIXONLAND and THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE as the most up-to-date and complete history; I read them last year and found things I never came across in my dead father's library of 70s books on the subject.

Yes, when my dad died I found he obsessively collected Nixon books. Mostly in hardback. And there were a lot of them in the 70s.

Anyway: As you may have heard, it was revealed this week that, as has long been suspected, Nixon deliberately and consciously concocted the War on Drugs--and it was continued by subsequent administrations, most especially Republican ones Reagan forward--to wreck the black and left communities. But let Larry Wilmore, Mike Yard and Joe Morton explain better. And also remind you why this is especially relevant (TRUMP) now as well.
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  Cold War American Men Dreamed of Dead Wives

...or certainly it was considered an amusing idea, based on the cumulative evidence of their films, ads and TV. Here's a startlingly glaring example: the "button defense" scene in HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE.

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23 March 2016
  Quick Thoughts on This Spread from Jaka's Story

Dave Sim & Gerhard: climax of Jaka's Story
click to enlarge

This right here is the precise moment Cerebus turned irrevocably serious. Despite the "no poetic license" punchline. That it turned away from humor is not a criticism in the slightest by the way: it simply grew beyond it for a while. I fucking love JAKA'S STORY and with HIGH SOCIETY it's the most directly influential on my style, especially LULU, of all the Cerebus books. Though CHURCH & STATE is my actual favorite. It was JAKA'S STORY, along with my background in theatre, that taught me talking heads can be dynamic in comics.

Also: no movie could do this. Here's an example of what intrinsically comics bring to an action scene and what it can do dramatically a film can't. You're looking at three, maybe four points of view, and foci of drama, built architecturally in front of you in time. All there simultaneously, paced together. Only Roeg ever did anything approximating this (like PERFORMANCE and most especially THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, without which WATCHMEN would not exist) and even then, it's impossible for film to present simultaneity in quite this way. And with as much real impact. You STOP on this page, you study it, it sinks in. You would not freeze a film the same way, and it wouldn't register the same.

It's also a good example of what a double-page spread does best, but in the age of the internet and landscape screens that may be less distinct.

This was brought to mind, by the way, by this post including the image, about the Cerebus Oversize Project. Click here to find out more about that.


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19 March 2016
  HIGH-RISE - Clint Mansell Complete Soundtrack (2016)

A movie I cannot wait to see of my favorite Ballard novel. (I'm not sure ATROCITY EXHIBITION counts as a "novel" in the same way) Here's a playlist of the complete soundtrack by Clint Mansell, whom you may know as a frequent collaborator of Darren Aronofsky.
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  SUZY SPREADWELL: Print 2.1 - Thus Was Satan Confounded
Suzy Spreadwell by John Linton Roberson

Yay! Just in time for Easter! That was actually accidental! But anyway!

As I also need inking and color practice, I might do more of these. A fully rendered inked & colored version of this preparatory drawing of Suzy & her boyfriend Greg from earlier this week. I think it's a warmhearted illustration for the young people that Jesus is always there. 


High-quality posters & prints in large or small sizes of this artwork can be bought here, and of course the debut chapter of Suzy can be found in THIS SICKNESS #8, which you buy here.


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17 March 2016
  Bill Sienkiewicz on Trump

Leaving a trail of something wherever he goes.

An update:

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14 March 2016
  Aquaman Is a Psychopath
from Pulp Librarian

"Wait--why a watery life?" 
"Aquaman needs a bride." 
"--it's the 50s. Don't fight the Code."
"But--it doesn't move! It's just one solid piece of gold!" 
"I found it myself from sunken galleons all over the world." 
"You will swim"

"Aquaman? I missed Lois falling out the window and she disappeared. Seen her?" 
"God, you're useless." 
"Yes, useless"


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13 March 2016
  ULTIMATE CEREBUS: For the Hell of It I Redraw a Page of Dave Sim

So a couple of years back, A Moment of Cerebus (to which I contributed an appreciation of Sim once) announced this neat idea of a special edition-type thing with CEREBUS 1-25 redrawn by various artists. Partly inspired by the fact that(much like my first gn VITRIOL looks fucking horrid, assuming I've improved anyway) much of the beginning, though much of it is funny as hell, looks terrible. Personally I don't think the book looks good till the second appearance of the Roach (around issue 12), and then the quality amps up very quickly from there. Must have been the acid. 

Anyway, I penciled a couple of pages of a favorite sequence with Red Sophia in vain hopes of inclusion. I've heard nothing about the project proceeding, but this is one page of three I'd do if given the chance. In any event, I just felt like finishing it. As I just finished a big project, I'm mostly just practicing, sketching and prepping right now, so this is mainly an exercise for fun. 

As I mentioned in the essay above, Dave Sim redrew a VITRIOL page (which I must have lost in a move at some point, and it pisses me off) with an improved layout as a constructive critique of how I could approach it. So here's this inadequate tribute back, though I followed Dave's layout as exactly as I could. There's no attempt to draw like Dave here though: it's that page done in my style, for better or worse. But a style heavily influenced by Sim, so... 
(click images to enlarge)

CEREBUS with Red Sophia by Dave Sim redrawn by John Linton Roberson

And here's the pencil...
CEREBUS with Red Sophia by Dave Sim redrawn by John Linton Roberson (pencil)

And here's the original from CEREBUS vol. 1, p. 212. Which is still funnier. I just couldn't do that wicker crosshatching though. It all looks like Mysterio in there.
CEREBUS vol 1 p 212 by Dave Sim


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11 March 2016
  Trump and Chicago: a Personal Anecdote

My former town Chicago did itself proud today by shutting down a Donald Trump fascist-fest. And that guy who took the podium by the way has some serious balls.

Seems a good moment to relate a story that might clarify just how Chicago feels about Donald Trump. This was 2005, when the Trump International Hotel & Tower was completed. People in Chicago, who are justly proud of their usually world-class architecture, had not wanted this ugly piece of shit built, but Trump got it built anyway.

At the time, I was working the front desk at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. You may know them from their famous boat tours of Chicago's buildings along the river (one of which famously resulted in the Dave Matthews Band tour bus dumping human waste onto one of the boats) We would often have various luminaries in the world of architecture give talks. 

Trump came in to speak one day. The subject was the new building, and his office--who are just about as dickish as he is, or were at the time--were adamant on one major point: we were not to inform the press. 

So we didn't. And the people who had been invited to listen came. And no one else did. So far so good, right?

Not so good! Next thing you know, the talk is delayed while the Donald paces around the lobby--looking around to see if anyone recognizes him--loudly ranting to someone on his cell phone "WHY ISN'T ANYONE HERE?" and more to that effect. I watch this from behind the glass wall separating my office from the lobby. Usually you could hear little through it. He was pretty loud. It was bad.

I was a bit worried hearing this; hadn't they told us not to inform the press? And indeed that had been the case. We'd done our job, or else he'd have been yelling at us. No, that wasn't the problem.
The vast marble CAF lobby

The Donald was appalled because the press had not found out anyway, on its own. Because nobody in Chicago gives much of a fuck about Donald Trump.

His assistant, I assume, then called the press and once press started showing--still not much of it--an hour late, his talk began. He didn't look too thrilled when he left, but that was hardly our fault.

So if you wonder what Chicagoans think of Trump: they want him to fuck off back to New York, keep ruining that, and leave Chicago alone. (Chicago can ruin itself just fine, thanks)

Incidentally, I saw The Hair. What it is: it's a three-way combover, all of it originating from the back of his head. Three long combovers some poor bastard has to weave together into the orange gopher on his head every day.  He ducked in his head and adjusted it in a mirror. I told him it looked fine.

It didn't. That was why I told him that.


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  SUZY SPREADWELL: More Prep Sketching - Suzy & the Reverend

A brief break from the next chapter for more development of a later chapter with Reverend Swiver, and an exploration of the anti-censorship powers of cloth. Click image for larger version. And get the current chapter in print in full color in THIS SICKNESS #8!
SUZY SPREADWELL in THIS SICKNESS #8, available at Amazon & Google Play!


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09 March 2016
  The Greatest Photo In The World: Stefania Casini with THIS SICKNESS #8!

Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest picture in the world.

The one and only Stefania Casini (my Lulu model, as you may already know) here, with THIS SICKNESS #8. (that's her in Molly's cover) Side note: her bookshelves back there are way cool. 

One of those "I-can-die-happy-now" moments. I love her.

Stefania Casini holding THIS SICKNESS #8 (available at Amazon & Google Play)

Here she is from a few years back talking about BLOOD FOR DRACULA and Warhol. I think I've posted this before but what the hell.


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07 March 2016
  SUZY SPREADWELL - Prep Sketch: Making Out Continued

Another prep sketch for the next chapter of SUZY,  depicting Suzy and her hapless boyfriend Greg delighting at least one onlooker. Click image to enlarge.

As always, sketch available for $25 postpaid via Paypal (to john[dot]roberson[at]gmail[dot]com) and the first chapter of SUZY in full color is available here in THIS SICKNESS #8.
SUZY SPREADWELL: AMERICA'S SWEETHEART by John Linton Roberson in THIS SICKNESS #8, available at Amazon!


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06 March 2016
  SUZY SPREADWELL - Chapter 2, More Preparatory Sketching

More Suzy Spreadwell sketching prep for the next chapter. Didn't realize till now but kissing is really hard to draw and something I'll have to practice more. Drawing. Yes.

Click image for full size, and be sure to check out her debut, in full color, in THIS SICKNESS #8! Also, this sketch available from me for $25 postpaid via Paypal.
Suzy Spreadwell by John Linton Roberson available now in THIS SICKNESS #8 at Amazon!


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05 March 2016
  Suzy Spreadwell: New Chapter, Preparatory Sketch

A sketch as I start work on the next chapter of Suzy. Did I mention she kind of also has a boyfriend? That there's Greg. Click image for larger size

If you're interested you can Paypal me $20 to buy the sketch ($5 shipping US, varies elsewhere). Also, you can buy a print in a variety of sizes here.
Suzy Spreadwell by John Linton Roberson

Usually I do a page right after I break it down, but this time I've been trying to do the whole story before starting pencils. This week I broke down about 9 pages, and the drawing impulse is getting itchy, so I expect I'll be too impatient to do more and will start penciling actual pages soon.

And of course, the current chapter is already out in print at Amazon and digital at Google Play in THIS SICKNESS #8 in full, lovely color, so be sure to catch up now!

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01 March 2016
  UNCLE CYRUS @MartianLit: "Deadliney Doom" - Conclusion + CYRUS & LULU Art at Bargain Price!

Last page of the exclusive THIS SICKNESS #8 excerpt at MartianLit. Click image for full page. And click here to buy the whole thing--as well as a whole lot more in black & white and color (like SUZY SPREADWELL, LULU, the utterly insane paintings of Emily Kaplan, and more topped off by a lovely new cover by my pal Molly Kiely) in print and Kindle. Also at Google Play Books till the censors get wise. Last week it hit #121 in comics anthologies on Amazon. Get yours now!

Also, because I've lost my mind, this week a number of pencil pages from this story and the new LULU are up for bargain prices at Ebay for you to buy! Go get some art now--I can really use the money and space!

UNCLE CYRUS by John Linton Roberson in THIS SICKNESS #8 at Amazon!


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"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil."
--E. Blackadder, 1789

JLRoberson Self-Portrait 2005.
Questionable words & pictures from John Linton Roberson


John L. Roberson at PATREON


LULU Book 2 by John Linton Roberson introduction by Donna Barr
VLADRUSHKA Issue 2 (2021) 

VLADRUSHKA (c)2010 John Linton Roberson
VLADRUSHKA Issue 1 (2010) 

LULU Book 2 by John Linton Roberson introduction by Donna Barr
LULU Book 2 (2020) 
with an introduction by Donna Barr

Amazon | Google Play

LULU Book 1 by John Linton Roberson introduction by Martin Pasko
LULU Book 1 (2013) 
with an introduction by Martin Pasko

Amazon | Google Play

SUZY SPREADWELL Issue 1(2018) 
Amazon | Google Play

Frank Wedekind's LULU
VLADRUSHKA (adults only)
STORY OF OH!(2008) Written by Charles Alverson (adults only)





April 2013: LULU Book 1 Interview at Comics Forge 


July 2017:
Steve Pugh and the Flintstones

Interview of Steve Pugh by John Roberson & Tim Young!

December 2016: Politics in Comics
With Emmet O'Cuana

November 2016: Wonder Woman-Earth One
With Emmet O'Cuana

April 2016: Batman Vs. Superman, an Assassination
With Emmet O'Cuana & Kumar Sivasubramanian

October 2015: 
Erotic Comics, Erratic Censorship

Discussion with Tim Young; also featuring Dale Lazarov & Tim Pilcher.

August 2014:  Crumb’s Confounding “Genesis”
Discussion with Tim Young.

April 2014:  Corporate Comics: Love'Em, Hate 'Em
Discussion with Tim Young, Deb Aoki, & Jason McNamara.

April 2013: Lulu”- Staging a classic on paper - interview by Tim Young.
August 2012:
Flex Mentallo - discussion with Troy Belford.
January 2012:
Comics Events - discussion with Tim Young.
May 2011:
Theatre and Comics - interview by Tim Young.

August 2006 at Talkaboutcomics.com

Sept. 2001 at Spark-Online

WHERE IT BEGAN: John L. Roberson's first graphic novel
VITRIOL(serialized in PLASTIC from 1998-2003)
...Free Online

All contents ©2022 John L. Roberson and accomplices.

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