Tailgunner Jo stuff!

Hey there, websurfers.

I’ve been sick as a cat lately, so I’ve been doing little but moan and complain.  (I’d say “sick as a dog” but I only have cats, and they vomit fairly regularly, so we’ll go with that.)  I’m running late on everything, so I’m only popping in to show ya this sketch.

Those characters are the stars of a comic book series I did a million years ago called “Tailgunner Jo”,  a sci-fi/fantasy series for DC in the late eighties.  I was the inker for a few issues, and had posted one of the pages online for sale here at ART LAND, and when a fan asked for a bunch of them, we discovered that we had already SOLD one of the pages that he wanted.  He was nice enough to switch over to another page after we explained it to him, and this sketch was my way of apologizing for telling him (in an email) that I had a page which had actually been sold years ago.  (There was  confusion about the story page No. # vs. the issue page No.#  (both were marked on each page SHEESH!, and my brain hurt)

But it’s been all happily sorted out a few days back, right before the body gave in on me.

It’s been a while since I drew these characters, but I did the sketch without looking up the original designs, just to see if I could match them from memory.  I did okay, actually, only having to tweak the raccoon once I checked with the original issues (I’d given him a black mask…but he had a white one in the published stories!).

This series isn’t as long forgotten as I thought it was…for instance HERE is the Tailgunner Jo online shrine!  Nice to see the efforts are never COMPLETELY obscured by time.    Peter Gillis, and Tom Artis (the writer and penciler) did a great job on this series, and it’s their efforts I’m happy to see remembered.  I only inked the first couple of issues, and then I ran off to pencil Justice League, so I was a fair weather friend at best.  Going back and looking over the issues was a treat, and I hope folks find this stuff in their local fifty cent bins at conventions etc.  Worth the read, just for the way cool nonsense happening on every page.  Fairy tale teddy bear wars and cybernetic superhero industrial espionage corporate pirate stuff, with dark hints of drug abuse, wrapped in a message of single parenting in a harsh world.  Lone Wolf and Cub meets the Matrix.

I’m fairly sure the listed pages on the website are all correct and on sale, but I’m as disorganized as an octopus directing traffic most days.   My wife assures me we’re okay.  Heads have already rolled.  I’ve fired two of my cats. **

Ty the Guy OUT!

(**actually, I have a master list of what pages are available and which are for sale, based on what’s been listed on the site. The problem here was email communication–Ty thought he’d never sold any of the pages and was much surprised to find that he had. kts)

This is why artists get married.  So we remember to eat.  It reminds me of this joke.  What do you call a painter without a girlfriend?

A homeless guy.

It’s funny because it’s easily verifiable.

T. t. G.

Here now–your COMIC BOOK moment of ZEN:

7 responses to “Tailgunner Jo stuff!

  1. It’s true–I’m the woman behind the man. The wizard behind the curtain…the hand up Kermit…the.


    Time to stop.

  2. It is very comforting to know that my cats aren’t the only ones that regularly vomit around the house…


    Steven G. Willis

  3. Tailgunner Jo was an interesting series, and I liked it a lot. I remember two things about it, in particular: one, the father had an unusually powerful range of facial expressions, and two, the feeling that there was a ton of backstory which hadn’t made it into the comic. It definitely left the reader wanting more!

  4. Can anyone help me. How did Tailgunner Jo end?

    • Funny to see someone posting this in May 2017, because I’m just reading it for the first time in June 2017. And I’m looking for an explanation as well. I guess the best explanation we’re going to get is from the Tailgunner Jo shrine (linked in the article: http://www.ikemi.info/tailgunner_jo.html )… the last 2 issues are kind of confusing because the lines between the virtual world and real world are blurred, but apparently Jo’s mother and father escape in the last escape pod. I also feel like there’s a lot more to this story that needs told – it should have got more pages, maybe a graphic novel.

      • You understood the ending better than I. I only inked the first half of the mini-series, (went off to start pencilling Justice League), I had nothing to do with the production of the last three issues…But I read ’em, and scratched my head.

  5. Great and underrated series from a period when DC were really experimenting and plain knocking it of the park.

    Your inks gelled superbly with Artis’ pencils (and what a fantastic artist he was. Gone far too soon).

    Love your work, Ty!

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