Saturday, 14 July 2007

Satirical Cynicism from Shannon Wheeler

In a break away from his limelighted character, Too Much Coffee Man, who features on ROK Comics, Shannon Wheeler delivers Screw Heaven, When I Die I’m Going to Mars.

This new collection of Shannon's brilliant comics material, to be published by Dark Horse Comics in the US in August is described as "an intense packages coffee-fueled cynicism sheds a humorous light on life’s little nuances and annoyances". The trials and tribulations of several featured comic strip characters -- including the beloved Too Much Coffee Man -- come together to engage readers in a subtly intellectual, yet laugh-out-loud funny burlesque of irony and lampoon.

With an introduction from legendary Operation Ivy singer Jesse Michaels and guided by the editorial genius of Shawna Gore, this anthology joins several critically acclaimed Too Much Coffee Man books from Dark Horse, who say they are more than happy to be part of the rich history of the character.

And there's more Too Much Coffee Man news. An improbable marriage of classical music and comic book characters makes a new life in the Too Much Coffee Man Opera which will be presented by Comic-Con International: San Diego in a dramatic concert presentation running 27th - 28th July at the city's Horton Grand Theatre. The contemporary opera is based on Too Much Coffee Man and stirs scrutinizing sidesplitting satire with traditional opera.

Too Much Coffee Man creator, Shannon Wheeler, teamed up with Emmy Award winning composer Daniel Steven Crafts and cartoonist Damian Wilcox to form this one-act opera which chronicles the tragedy of Too Much Coffee Man, a caffeine-addled average Joe in love with a local Barista. Trouble brews when the cynical opportunist Espresso Guy also makes a play for the ambitious but frustrated young female coffee slinger. But the Barista has other plans that have nothing to do with either of the rambunctious men. The characters must resolve the modern age dilemma: Can coffee and romance co-exist?

“I haven’t been this excited since my last press release,” muses Shannon.

In addition to three performances for attendees of Comic-Con, the Too Much Coffee Man Opera will be performed in concert for a five-show run at the Horton Grand Theatre, and two public performances at 11.00 p.m. Friday, July 27th and 11.00 p.m. Saturday, July 28th. Tickets cost $20 and are available through Ticketmaster.

Screw Heaven, When I Die I’m Going to Mars. is to be released by Dark Horse 8th August 2007.

Tastes Like Chicken

Cartoonist, comedian, graphic designer, husband, father and lover of ice cream Josh Alves is the latest creator to join the ranks of ROK Comics.

Tastes Like Chicken
, which Josh is adapting for mobile format, appears in the American local newspaper The Weekly (latest headlines from Bangor, Maine, include: "Severed human hand found in Waldoboro garage" and "Wandering moose visits downtown Camden")as a weekly panel comic, offering Josh's unique take on things people might describe as ordinary or as "tasting like chicken".

Josh has a blog where he often discusse the comic creating process behind Tastes Like Chicken at

Friday, 13 July 2007

Summer time, and mobiles are busy

How much do tweens/teens use their cell phones during the summer? The answer, according to the new Disney Mobile Cell and Tell survey of 1,579 (I assume US) mobile phone using Tweens/Teens 10-17, is that summertime usage among this group grows to 3-hours and 45-minutes a day, versus the 1+ hour per day for an average school day. Conducted by Harris Interactive, Cynopsis Digital reports they also found that mobile phones are important enough to Tweens/Teens 10-17 that one third of those surveyed said they would give up listening to radio, playing video games, and shopping rather than give up their mobile phone.

One in five said they would give up TV. (They'll be reading ROK Comics instead, perhaps...)

Other findings include:

  • 65% of Tweens/Teens 10-17 report using phones during school hours
  • 58% of those surveyed that text message say they have texted during class
  • 44% of respondents use text messages as their primary form of communication
  • 52% say they text while at the movies and 28% at the dinner table
  • 26% report they check for text messages or send one less than ten minutes after waking up in the morning.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Where's Amy?

The Shadow has solved the mystery of Amy Winehouse's many no-shows. It's nothing to do with her, erm 'social activities'. I'm sure she'll be relieved to have a new excuse...

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Aled Haydn Jones, superhero!

When Chris Moyles declared Aled Haydn Jones was turning into a superhero on this morning's Radio 1 show, the ROK Comics team sprang into action and created this gem in response to Moyles' appeal for art of AHJ as a super powered wonder...

Monday, 9 July 2007

Are You Funny Enough to win $10,000?

Win $10,000

Just a quick reminder - ROK Comics is running a competition to win $10,000 for creating a comic strip...

Simply create or upload a humorous comic strip on and be in with the chance to win.


1) If you haven't already, sign up to ROK Comics create your own funny comic at

2) Create a humorous comic following the ROK Comic guidelines using the Creator Tool and categorise it as 'Fun'

3) Publish your strip as a Freefall or Pro "Fun" strip between now and 1 September 2007

4) That's it! You will have entered the competition and are in with the chance to win $10,000!

Good Luck!

• Competition Page and full terms and conditions link:

Drink Like a Fish!

Dave Hailwood, the brains behind Ups and Downs and other strips, is working with artist Toshiro De Smeyter on another strip, Drink Like a Fish, now being published for mobile by ROK Comics.

Toshiro De Smeyter is the 21-year-old creator of another well known strip, Scoff, a dressed-in-black individual with an undying love for cuddly kittens and a sarcastic sense of humour.

Toshiro has been passionate about drawing ever since he was a little boy, and last year finally decided to draw a comic on a regular basis, publishing a new Scoff comic online every Monday.

Toshiro runs his own website and engages in all sorts of other projects, such as Drink like a fish, a comic he designs together with David Hailwood.

Check out the first mobile-formatted episode of Drink Like a Fish for free below:

In daily life, Toshiro works in the pre-press of a screen print company, but one day says he’'d like to start as a graphic designer, because designing is his real passion.