About   Blog   Comics   Store

April 3rd, 2014

Cold Heat Special #10 Debuts this Weekend at MoCCA 2014

Filed under: Events,Print Comics — Tags: , ,

I’ve been honored to write and draw Cold Heat Special #10 with the input of Frank Santoro. Sacred Prism, Ian Harker’s publishing outfit, is debuting the two-color, 5×7″ risograph-printed comic this weekend at MoCCA Fest 2014 in NYC. If you can’t make it to MoCCA, you can preorder the issue. You can also subscribe to all eight comics that Sacred Prism will publish in 2014.

Here’s a photo of an uncut printed page:

Cold Heat Special 10 Print Photo
You can see, clockwise from the upper left, the back cover, front cover, Page 6, and Page 7.

I’m really happy with how the colors are mixing together. I was worried the purple wouldn’t be visible enough against the blue on the back cover… and that pink pops on top of a 25% blue screen! Here’s a Photoshop simulation of a printed page (via multiplied layers):

Cold Heat Special 10 Photoshop Simulation
Page 1, which is also partially visible in the top-right corner of the previous image.

If you’re unfamiliar with Cold Heat, it was a comic book series written by Ben Jones, drawn by Frank Santoro, and published by Picturebox. Frank worked with a bunch of other fabulous cartoonists on the first nine Cold Heat Special issues, which were side quests starring the protagonist, Castle. You can read the first six issues of Cold Heat for free, and order the non-sold-out specials, here. I’ll let y’all know when I have my contributor copies of Cold Heat Special #10 up for sale in my store.

P.S. Two new pages of Skew were posted on Study Group this past Monday.

March 27th, 2014

Read Skew on Study Group

Filed under: Web Comics — Tags: , ,

I’ve started a new serial webcomic, Skew, on Study Group Comics.

Cover for Skew by William Cardini
Click the cover to go to the comic’s page.

A new page for Skew will be posted every Monday. I’ve standardized the pages so that I can draw them quickly because my studio time is haphazard now that I’m a father. Each page is a single panel. I use the same three colors (forming four additional colors by overlapping multiplied layers) for every page. I’ll increase the pages per post if I get a good buffer and studio schedule going.

Skew Page 3

Like Vortex, Skew features the Miizzzard. There’ll be incremental and instantaneous transformations, monster wizard battles, mechs, slime, and journeys through planes physical and meta. I’ve got some fun ideas cooking in my sketchbook so I hope you’ll check back to simmer in the Skew stew. Thanks to Zack Soto for this opportunity.

P.S. My friend and collaborator Josh Burggraf has also started a serial on Study Group, Typhoon 99, starring Floyd, who some of y’all might remember from Shaman Thunder. New chapters of Typhoon 99 will appear fortnightly.

February 27th, 2014

STAPLE! 2014

Filed under: Events — Tags:

Wow this year marks a decade of STAPLE! I was there for the first con at the Moose Lodge. It’s grown a lot! Last year I had some copies of Vortex at a friend’s table and I floated around the con for a couple of hours … but this year I’m splitting a half table with the Rough House Comics folks.

Russell Etchen cover for Rough House Comics 2
Sample of Russell Etchen’s cover for Rough House Comics 2.

I’ll have a stack of prints, including a red/blue anaglyph 3d print with glasses, one copy of Vortex #1, one copy of #2, and plenty of #3 and #4; Future Shock #2, #4, and #5 (edited by Josh Burggraf); Kid Space Heater #2 (by Josh Burggraf); RUB THE BLOOD (edited by Pat Aulisio and Ian Harker); and a few other anthologies that I’ve been in. I hope to see y’all there!

Update: we’ll be at Table 83A in the annex of Marchesa Hall, which is to the left of the lobby.

November 1st, 2013

Austin Zine Fest this Saturday

Filed under: Events — Tags: ,

Hi y’all, I’ll be tabling at the first Austin Zine Fest this Saturday, November 2nd, from noon to 5pm!


I’ll have copies of Vortex #1, 3, and 4; Tranz #2; and several different prints. Paper Party will at the half table next to me with a bunch of zines and cards, such as the Kramer Sutra.

A painting by Michael Ricioppo and Drew Liverman from their show Young Sons at MASS Gallery
A painting by Michael Ricioppo and Drew Liverman from their show Young Sons.

AZF will be at MASS Gallery, which is now in the complex at 507 Calles Street. The current show is Young Sons. It’s a bunch of enormous collaborative paintings by Michael Ricioppo and Drew Liverman, which I highly recommend checking out even if you’re not interested in the zine fest.

October 31st, 2013

Hyperverse Halloween Special

Filed under: Web Comics — Tags:

Happy Halloween

October 1st, 2013

Barbara Hambly’s The Silent Tower and The Silicon Mage

Filed under: SF Reviews — Tags:

The Silent Tower and The Silicon Mage are the first two books in Barbara Hambly’s portal fantasy series The Windrose Chronicles. For those unfamiliar with the term, a portal fantasy involves travel between two realms: our familiar Earth at some point in history and somewhere else, either Faerie, Heaven, Hell, a dreamscape, or another planet entirely. In this series, the two realms are Los Angeles in the 80s and the Empire of Ferryth on another world. In the first two books, it’s never explicitly stated whether the Empire’s planet is another Earth existing in a parallel dimension or a different planet orbiting a different sun altogether; however, both worlds contain human beings that are sufficiently similar for the same magic spells to work on both. What we are told is that our Earth, the Empire’s planet, and stranger worlds filled with utterly alien beings are all connected by the Void. The Void is only accessible by those with sufficiently advanced technology or magic. Out in the Void, there are drifting centers of power. The distance between a world and a power center determines whether or not magic exists.

So, then, we have the Empire’s planet, at the beginnings of an industrial revolution but still filled with some mages, and our Earth at the 80s, at the beginning of the computer revolution. Although mainframes, Fortran, and floppy disc drives were all in use when Hambly wrote these books, they’re now so outdated that 80s LA just seems like another secondary world, one which I’m more familiar with through old movies and clunky CGI than my own experience. As LP Hartley wrote, “the past is a foreign country.”

It’s interesting to compare the worldbuilding of 80s LA and the Empire of Ferryth. They both feel solid. In this portal fantasy, we’re given a POV from each side and, interestingly, we start in the Empire, with Caris. Although at first it seems that we begin at a generic magic school, where Caris has already graduated as a warrior guard to mages, it becomes clear early on that this world is modeled on a very specific point in history, when factories and programmable looms begin to appear in the cities but the majority of the population are still struggling farmers.

Economics seems like a primary inspiration for Hambly. The most vivid part of Joanna’s Los Angeles experience is her job at a defense contractor, programming missile control systems. Although there are no clouds of coal in her world, there’s the gloomy fog of a potential nuclear armageddon. In the Hambly books that I’ve read, these and Dragonsbane, her protagonists are not the typical fantasy women. They’re average or homely rather than beautiful, middle aged rather than teenagers. Joanna is a blonde, curly haired, shy women who’s more comfortable programming systems at 4am than talking to people, constantly staving off the advances of her seemingly oafish boyfriend Gary. It was very easy for me to identify with her and hope for her to succeed because her job is similar to my day job.

I thoroughly enjoy when Joanna applies her programming expertise to magic, breaking down problems into smaller and smaller, and easier to solve, subroutines. But this isn’t the type of magic that you get in a Brandon Sanderson novel. There’s no unified theory of magic for Joanna to discover, just the Dark Mage to trap and Abominations to destroy. I enjoy the clever construction of Sanderson’s magical systems but sometimes I just want to be awed by mysterious beings who can summon lightning from unknown dimensions.

Caris, who you might at first be fooled into thinking is the hero and love interest, is a young, lithe warrior with a perfectly proportioned face who has trouble thinking for himself and craves the clarity of rules from obvious authority figures. In these first two novels, which form one complete story, Caris is cast adrift with Joanna and the wry, mad mage Antryg Windrose. Antryg is an amazingly crafted character. Throughout The Silent Tower, I was never sure of his intentions, but he charmed me as easily as he charms Caris and Joanna.

The kernel of these novels is the relationship between Joanna and Antryg. When I was in high school I got excited about the romantic relationships in books like the Wheel of Time, where horny teenagers fall for each other at their first meeting because they’re fated to but don’t have the healthiest of relationships. Now that I’m older and married, I prefer Hambly’s depiction of a relationship focused on partnership and mutual respect on top of attraction. Joanna and Antryg do have to work out their trust and communication issues, but what relationship is ideal?

There’s one unfortunate aspect of these books that prevents me from whole-heartedly recommending them. There’s one gay character who falls into the trope of decadent, depraved homosexual. Although Joanna sees his good qualities, she still refers to him as a “pervert.” This isn’t central to the book but I can’t blame anyone for finding this an insurmountable obstacle.

I’m going to leave y’all with one of my favorite moments. It’s a great example of Hambly’s all-too-realistic focus on economics but is a bit spoilery. In The Silicon Mage, Antryg and Joanna encounter a much hyped-up evil, an intelligent Abomination from another dimension. When they encounter the demon in its gorey lair, they discover that it’s not some fearsome hellspawn intent on devouring souls, but a low-level office worker who’s trapped in a world he doesn’t understand, trying to communicate the only way he can: through a body composed of human corpses. Even more humorously, he’s an technician like Joanna; only instead of computer systems, he works with xchi particles.

September 27th, 2013

Vortex #2 Sold Out; One Vortex #1-4 Combo Pack Left

Filed under: Admin,Print Comics — Tags: ,

I realized yesterday that I only have one copy of Vortex #2 left in my personal inventory. So I’m not selling any more individual copies of Vortex #2 and I only have one Vortex #1-4 combo pack left. The combo pack is four dollars cheaper than ordering each issue individually. You can order it in my store.

Vortex 2

Vortex #2 is still available through other stores and distros: Farewell Books in Austin, Birdcage Bottom Books, Quimby’s, Sparkplug, Telegraph Gallery, Wow Cool, and some other places I’m probably forgetting (sorry I’m sleep deprived).

September 24th, 2013


Filed under: Life,Manifestos

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ve got an excellent excuse: I’m now the father of a beautiful, strong, and healthy baby girl!

Ruby Hensel

It’s hard to describe the swirling flood of emotions I’ve been immersed in in the months leading up to her birth and the weeks since, but I truly feel like my world has expanded immeasurably. I’m also more committed than ever to drawing comics and showing my daughter that our lives don’t have to just be day jobs, shopping sprees, and dreary broken dreams. I want to show her a world of joy, unbearable cuteness, and play. I want to show her a world where she can be whatever she imagines, whoever she is, a world where her choices aren’t constrained or predetermined by patriarchy. I hope that I can live up to my parenting ideals and that, when I fail to meet them, I don’t let that stop me from continuing to try. I hope that she knows I love her and that I’ll be there for her. <3

I’m going to post her when I can – this is my home on the Internet and I won’t abandon it – but if you want to see what I’m up to more regularly, follow my my Hypercastle Tumblr. Even if I won’t be completing another 128-page graphic novel anytime soon, I’m going to make a commitment to myself to draw in my sketchbook regularly.

August 27th, 2013

Drawing for Sparkplug Books

Filed under: Artwork — Tags: ,

I drew a splash page image for the Sparkplug Books site, check it out:

Sparkplug Books drawing

Sparkplug has Vortex #1-3 in their shop.

August 15th, 2013

Vortex #1-4 Combo Pack

Filed under: Print Comics — Tags: ,

I’ve added a Vortex #1-4 combo pack to my store. $20 plus shipping for the complete psychedelic adventure: 128 pages of sf madness, melting forms, digital lines, and thick textures. Here are some photos my wife, Glade Hensel, took of the issues:

Vortex 1-4. Photo by Glade Hensel.

Vortex 1 interior. Photo by Glade Hensel.

Vortex 2 interior. Photo by Glade Hensel.

Vortex 3 interior. Photo by Glade Hensel.

Vortex 4 interior. Photo by Glade Hensel.

Vortex 1-4 back covers. Photo by Glade Hensel.

Subscribe   Blog Home   Blog Archives
« Newer PostsOlder Posts »