We all know Bryan Lee O'Malley is a gigantic superstar these days and his Scott Pilgrim is going to be the greatest movie of 2009 or whenever, but he's still an indy guy. And he's going to be at MoCCA this weekend, even though he should be home drawing Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together! But O'Malley is great, and I love everything he's done from the moving Lost at Sea to the kickass little piece from Project: Superior. And, as we all know, Scott Pilgrim is wondrous and beautiful and full of all kinds of badassery. It's so good that I think I referenced it as my favorite contemporary comic when I hung out with Howard Cruse last summer. Wonder if Howard ever picked up a copy. I doubt it, though. What do you say Howard?
Here's my Bryan Lee O'Malley story: It takes place a year before any of the Scott Pilgrim books debuted. It was the year my brother and I created Ninja Wolf as a joke that became kinda serious but still funny (and trust me, WAAAAY MORE info on Ninja Wolf is coming very soon!!! Keep your eyes peeled!). Anyway, I was running around at the end of the last day of the San Diego Comic-Con, trying to get as many free sketches of Ninja Wolf as I could. I ended up with only a few, but one of the guys willing to do a sketch was Corey Lewis, he of Sharknife fame. Of course, he hadn't published Sharknife yet, and I had no idea who he was, but he was totally into Ninja Wolf when I told him the concept. "Can you draw this character we made up?" I asked. "It's kind of a joke thing....Anyway, his name is Ninja Wolf--He was an orphan raised by ninjas, then subsequently raised by wolves." "That doesn't sound like a joke," said The Rey aka Corey Lewis. "That sounds like the greatest idea ever!" Bryan Lee O'Malley, seated next to The Rey, said, "that sounds just like one of your ideas." "I know," said The Rey, "I will totally draw you a sketch of Ninja Wolf. And if you do a comic, I will draw the cover for you! It's awesome." So as The Rey was creating his masterpiece of Ninja Wolf sketchery, I said, "hey Bryan, you know you want to draw Ninja Wolf too." "I can't," he said, "I gotta copy this album cover for some guy."
And thus, many years ago, Bryan Lee O'Malley was denied the chance to draw Ninja Wolf and the world has become a sadder place.
But, The Rey's work still adorns my classroom wall, and O'Malley has gone on to produce works of staggeringly important graphic genius.
So, in the end, it all worked out. Except it's not the end of the story. Ninja Wolf is....(yet, I must hold my tongue. Further updates will follow this summer!)