Where have you been for the last month?

I have been painting. Painting quite a bit actually. "Johnny Space Commander!" went on the back burner for a bit.
I have been preparing for a show in Charlotte, that happens to be taking place while the DNC is in town. However, the show fell through, I'm left with some good paintings. Like this one:

Sure, it looks like he has too many fingers, but what the hell, I'm an artist not a mathmatician.
Anyway, I'll be back to Johnny, Dick and the Doc pretty quick here, so all of those people who are not buying "Johnny Space Commander!" can keep on not buying it when issue 5 is done.



Here we are with the guys over at SPANDEXLESS. They have reviewed "Johnny Space Commander!" and they couldn't stop laughing! I'm not sure if that was a good thing or not.

Anyway, go read it here, or just take a look below:

Johnny Space Commander: Smirk Til You Die

Posted by on 22 Aug 2012

You know how in Transmetropolitan, the glasses that Spider Jerusalem wears are shaped as though the wearer is permanently displaying a look of “what the heck am I looking at”? I think it’s a funny appearance. Skeptical and slightly comedic at the same time.
Literally every character in Johnny Space Commander has that facial expression melted into their skin. And I’m okay with it, somehow.

Probably because I look like this every day.

Somehow, also, I feel like I shouldn’t be laughing at anything in this multi-issue comic by Sean Parnell; it’s cheesy, low brow, and it looks like something right off a Sunday morning newspaper comic page. But that just makes this whole thing funnier to me. I can’t stop reading it. I like it too much.
I mean, Johnny Space Commander is basically Bill Watterson’s Spaceman Spiff with dick jokes. Its tagline is even “Saving The Universe One Ridiculous Situation After Another.” It’s old sci-fi pulp like what Calvin and Hobbes would lightly satirize, with a caffeinated story pace, simple-as-bread plots and cookie cutter characters, and it’s funny. Johnny Space Commander and his trusted sidekick, D.I.C.K. D.R.O.I.D., fly around the universe defeating every kind of Saturday Morning Cartoon villain you can think of, and they do it in a style that’s 60% drama, 30% dirty humor and 10% fourth-wall bashing shenanigans. The writing depends on the humor, of course, since even making fun of these types of pulp plots got old with Mystery Science Theater 3000. Combined with the speedy plot pace, it managed to make me laugh pretty often.

Oh my God her face never changes and I’m cracking up

The jokes are ostensibly crude. Characters with names that are puns on genitalia, giant acronyms that spell out insults a second-grader uses, you know how it is. I like that Parnell can shovel in good sci-fi references without being overbearing though. My favorite jokes are the ones that break the wall, but not too much. They take you out of the action very briefly with something that forces you to consider how dumb this whole thing is, then, just as quickly as it came, it disappears, and you’re back in cheesy drama mode. I mean, the heroes find themselves in a life-or-death situation, and Dick Droid still manages to insult the villain with a facial expression and a tone and that looks and sounds like he’s reacting to somebody peeing on his pet dog. Why am I giggling?!
Some of his jokes are a little drawn out, like when he decides to get real obvious about the Star Trek reference he was making for issue 1, but more often than not I think Parnell’s work is amusing. It’s impossible to take seriously, but he stays inside the bubble this kind-of-sci-fi constructs for itself just ever so delicately, so you’re never left feeling like the satire is too transparent. If it were too meta, it wouldn’t work.

That is the happiest vomiter I’ve ever seen, anyway.

It helps that the art accentuates the goofiness of the dialogue. It’s energetic, full of whacked-out poses, and nobody ever sports a facial expression that doesn’t imply that they’re sniffing crack. And God, does it ever look like Spaceman Spiff. You remember that, right? Please don’t make me cry. It’s normally a style you might associate with wacky kid-grade entertainment, but in spite of its relative simplicity Parnell does some pretty dynamic stuff with it for action scenes. He can go a pretty long way with basic shapes and colors, and he can fill up a scene with detail without making it look cluttered.
You know, in spite of some missteps, I think this is an alright comic. If you don’t take the jokes too seriously, I think you’ll find this to be funny. Also, he has some promo stuff in the back of the comics for several other projects, and they look like they could be good too. Though I’m not sure if the below image is a real project or not.

At the risk of sounding weird/creepy though, I would absolutely read this.

TL;DR: Sean Parnell set out to make a comic that mixes meta-humor with low-brow comedy and manages to come up with something that at least had me laughing even when I didn’t mean to.
Johnny Space Commander is written and illustrated by Sean Parnell. Here’s a convenient link or two to buy from.
A review PDF of Johnny Space Commander was graciously provided to Spandexless by the creator.

Written by David Anderson

David is a man of many talents, with interests ranging from history to comics to the history of comics.



Here we are again, sorry it's been awhile, I've been busy. More about that at another time. Right now though I need to share a review from the guys over at STUMPTOWN TRADE REVIEW!

It has been up for a month already, but I have been busy, too busy to post anything. So here it is, on with the review!

Independence Week: Day 2- Johnny Space Commander #1 – 4

All this week we will be celebrating the true spirit of independence with self-published comics.    These brave men and women have broken free of their corporate masters and have taken on all the risks and responsibilities of publishing their own books.  Some will be successful.  Some will not.  But all represent the true spiriti of independence!

Johnny Space Commander #1 by Sean Parnell
Today’s book is Johnny Space Commander by Sean Parnell
If the movie Airplane 2: The Sequel were a comic book and starred a hapless adventurer and his robotic sidekick, then it would probably be called Johnny Space Cmmander and would be written and drawn by Sean Parnell.
Johnny Space Commander is a farce comic that sends up sci-fi adventure movies and tv shows while taking every opportunity to make a sex joke or body fluid reference.  But, like the classic farce movies of the 80′s  such as Airplane and The Naked Gun, these simply add to the overall humor of the book.  It is clear that the reader is not supposed to take any of this seriously.  Instead of working hard to create a sense of drama and mystery while sprinkling in bits of humor (like most comics), Parnell turns it on its head and takes every opportunity to cash in on a joke, and sprinkles in a little action and adventure.
The stories of Johnny Space Commander are neat little adventures which are designed to give Johnny an opportunity to show off his skills as a fighter or pilot, while bringing him in to contact with as many colorful characters as possible.  Johnny, more often than not, plays it deadpan while the rest of the cast is free to make sex jokes, make cheap gags, or come up with some Deus ex Machina to resolve the scenario, often with hilarious effect.
The art is probably the weakest part of the entire package.  When it comes to art, Parnell is a good writer.  It is not that the art is particularly bad, it is more that it is not very refined.  Like the script, the art is designed so that the reader will not take it very seriously.  That is the problem.  The joy of the farce movies is that they tried hard to recreate the look and feel (at least on the surface) of whatever genre they were spoofing.  With Johnny Space Commander, there is little effort to make it look or feel like any other comic.
The notable exception is in the Jack Kirby puberty spoof backup story.  Parnell does a solid job of mimicking Kirby’s art which takes something that would be mildly funny and turns it in to something with several laugh out loud moments.  Had Parnell chosen to take Johnny Space Commander in that direction and make it a spoof in the art style of classic Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon, then the book would have been over the top!
The backup features are a happy diversion in  each book.  They are an opportunity for Parnell to try something a little different and to stretch himself.  The story featuring his real-life brother is not only hilarious, but also a little heartwarming as well.  Clearly Parnell has plenty of good ideas that are just begging to be let out to play!
In the end, Johnny Space Commander is a fun diversion.  So relax, enjoy the adventure, and know that Johnny Space Commander is on the job!